Malin and Lennart Philipson Foundation Prize

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In memory of Professor Lennart Philipson, the board of the Malin and Lennart Philipson Foundation awards a prize and grant for molecular biomedical research with the aim to help young, promising scientists to establish an independent research group after their postdoc training.

The grant sum is SEK 1 million per year for two years, including a personal prize during the first year of SEK 50,000. Apart from the researcher’s scientific merits, the award also recognises the ability as a leader to establish a strong research group. The prize is awarded in alternate years at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet respectively.

Prize winner 2015 - Erik Norberg

Erik Norberg, assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, is awarded the prize for his interesting and creative studies of alternations in the metabolism in cancer cells. The results may open new possibilities for cancer diagnostics as well as for future treatment of cancer.

During his Postdoctoral work, Erik Norberg’s research had a central focus on Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphomas (DLBCLs), which are aggressive tumors with both genetic and clinical variability. He could demonstrate that this tumor type, consist of multiple metabolic subgroups, that rely on distinct survival signaling. In particular, metabolic subsets where certain subtypes is dependent on fatty acid oxidation, a powerful antioxidant capacity and increased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, other DLBCL subsets is more dependent on glucose catabolism for energy production and generate more lactate.

These breakthrough findings indicate that unique metabolic programs are activated in specific subsets of DLBCLs that confers growth and survival signaling. The study highlights the metabolic heterogeneity that can exist even within a single tumor type that initially shares the same diagnosis. 

More about Erik Norberg

News article about the 2015 prize winner

Previous prize winners

Prize winner 2013 - Jorge Ruas

Jorge Ruas PhD, is awarded the Malin and Lennart Philipson Prize and Research Grant for his outstanding and widely cited research regarding the control of muscle cell growth. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms that mediate muscle mass and function, with a particular emphasis on finding future treatments against muscle atrophy. 

News article about the 2013 prize winner