The Lennart Nilsson Award
The Lennart Nilsson Award is presented annually in honor of the legendary Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson, since decades working with imagery at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The prize is SEK 100 000 and is awarded for extraordinary image makers in science.
More information about the award on the Lennart Nilsson Award website.
Prize winner 2016 - Alexey Amunts
Alexey Amunts, head of the Swedish cryo-EM laboratory at SciLifeLab and researcher in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Stockholm University, is the recipient of the 2016 Lennart Nilsson Award for his pioneering work in the ongoing “Resolution Revolution”, using cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) to visualize structures of individual proteins.
Cryo-EM led Alexey Amunts and his team to the first visualizations of a protein complex that regulates a cell’s energy budget, the mitoribosome, with extremely high resolution – at the atomic scale.
The method uses a highly focused electron beam to shoot electrons at biological samples, for example mitoribosomes, frozen in liquid nitrogen, at about –200°C. Hundreds of thousands of pictures of a single mitoribosome are combined with the help of computational analysis, and the final result is an extremely detailed three-dimensional model of the original biological structure.
Previous prize winners
2015 - Katrin Willig
Dr. Katrin Willig, junior research group leader at the Center for Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CNMPB) with affiliation at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany, is the recipient of the Lennart Nilsson Award 2015 for her groundbreaking contribution to the super-resolution microscopy of living cells.
2014 - Timothy Behrens
Timothy Behrens, Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the University of Oxford is awarded the 2014 Lennart Nilsson Prize for crucial efforts for the advancement of diffusion MRI, a technique for creating high resolution images of the architecture of the human brain.
2012 - Hans Blom
The 2012 Lennart Nilsson Award - this year a stipend - is awarded to Hans Blom, associate professor of biological physics at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH and facility manager at the Science for Life Laboratory, Stockholm, to undertake a field trip to Harvard University to study and evaluate the microscopy techniques nanoSIMS and STORM.
2011- Nancy Kedersha
The 2011 Lennart Nilsson Award is awarded to American biologist Nancy Kedersha for her colour pictures showing the inner life of a cell.
2010 - Kenneth Libbrecht
The 2010 Lennart Nilsson Award is awarded to the American physicist Kenneth Libbrecht for his images of snowflakes - images that open our eyes to the beauty of nature.
2009 - Carolyn Porco and Babak A. Tafreshi
The 2009 Lennart Nilsson Award is awarded to American planetary scientist Carolyn Porco and Iranian photographer and science journalist Babak A. Tafreshi for their photographic work, which - each from its own perspective - recalls mankind's place in the universe.
2008 - Anders Persson
The 2008 Lennart Nilsson Award is awarded to Swedish physician Anders Persson, MD, PhD, for his innovative techniques for capturing 3-D images inside the human body. These new techniques have proven particularly useful for post-mortem imaging, providing invaluable information for forensic investigation.