Dean dismissed after undue influence

Published 2010-03-02 00:00. Updated 2013-11-26 10:24

[Press Release 2010-03-02] Karolinska Institutet (KI) has today decided to dismiss Professor Karl Tryggvason from the office of Dean of Research after it emerged that he exercised undue influence over how funds were allocated to leading professors at Karolinska Institutet.

On 4 December 2009, KI announced its decision on the allocation of funds from the prominent professors programme. The programme is part of the university┬┤s strategic initiative for developing the quality of research. The professors to whom these funds were to be allocated were selected by an independent evaluation committee. After the KI management had received a letter from a number of professors questioning the selection process, the president appointed a taskforce to survey the entire process.

During the investigation that ensued, it was discovered that Karl Tryggvason had deviated from the COI rules and praxis of the scientific community, and had exerted undue influence on the process.

"It is unacceptable for a senior member of our university to act in this way," says Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, President of Karolinska Institutet.

Karl Tryggvason's misconduct includes sending a letter advocating whom he believed to be worthy recipients of the funds. This letter was sent from his private email address to the chairperson of the independent evaluation committee, who then forwarded it to the members of the evaluation committee.

"I take such unethical conduct very, very seriously and have therefore dismissed Karl Tryggvason from the office of Dean of Research with immediate effect," says Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson.

Karl Tryggvason therefore no longer carries out the remit of the office of Dean. Additional action may be necessary pending further investigation.

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