The Lennart Nilsson Award

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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 2015 - Katrin Willig

Katrin Willig- Foto: Waja WegnerDr. 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. In her research she uses technology for studying cell structures at nanoscale to understand how our brains work.

Katrin Willig pioneered the use of fluorescent proteins for the nanoscale imaging of living cells. She has developed STED microscopy for imaging tissue inside living organs, known as Deep Tissue Imaging, and her special area of interest is the processes in the contact points between the nerve cells that are known as the synapses. She has demonstrated the strength of these technologies by in vivo-imaging inside a living mouse brain the tiny protrusions (dendritic spines) on the nerve cell dendrites found in the synapses, which are believed to be the basis of memory in the brain.

News article about the 2015 prize winner

Previous prize winners

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.

News article about the 2014 prize winner

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.

News article about the 2012 prize winner

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.

Press release

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.

Press release

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.

Press release

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.

Press release