Gold medals awarded for contributions to medical research

Published 2010-08-26 00:00. Updated 2013-11-26 10:24

[PRESS RELEASE 2010-08-26] Karolinska Institutet's Golden Jubilee Medal is to be awarded to Ingvar Carlsson, Bengt Samuelsson, Marcus Storch and Hans Wigzell in special recognition of the outstanding contributions they have made to medical research and Karolinska Institutet.

The medals will be presented by HRH King Carl XVI Gustaf on Friday 27 August 2010 at Karolinska Institutet's jubilee celebration in the Stockholm City Hall.

"The medals give our university a special opportunity to honour people who have contributed to the development of medical research," says KI president Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson. "And of course it's an extra special pleasure to present these symbols of honour during our jubilee year."

The Jubilee Medal was established to mark Karolinska Institutet's 200th jubilee, which is being celebrated throughout 2010. There are three classes of medal, the Golden Medal, the Grand Silver Medal, and the Silver Medal. The first medal, of the Golden class, was awarded to HRH King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is the patron of Karolinska Institutet's 200th jubilee.

The medal committee's citations for Karolinska Institutet's Golden Jubilee Medals are as follows:

Ingvar Carlsson

For his entire political life, former prime minister Ingvar Carlsson has been devoted to issues of education, research and the future in its broadest sense. Ingvar Carlsson has been a great support for Karolinska Institutet in his involvement in LifeGene, a research project comprising half a million Swedes designed to examine how heredity, environment and lifestyle are linked to the major diseases. He led the steering committee with enthusiasm during the important start-up phase, and helped to anchor the plans for LifeGene with the medical faculties of other universities in Sweden. Ingvar Carlsson was chairman of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research from 1997 to 2002, and his experience and wisdom have been a tremendous asset to Karolinska Institutet, which makes him fully deserving of Karolinska Institutet's Golden Jubilee Medal.

Bengt Samuelsson

For decades Professor Bengt Samuelsson has been a mainstay of Swedish research and innovation. In 1982, Professor Samuelsson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking discoveries in the field of prostaglandins and related substances. His research has contributed to our basic understanding of central disease mechanisms, above all those concerning pain, fever and inflammatory diseases, and has led to the development of a number of important medicines for rheumatism, thrombosis and asthma. In 1983, Professor Samuelsson was appointed president of Karolinska Institutet, a position he retained until 1995, during which time he oversaw major restructuring programmes and extensive work on modernising infrastructure and internationalising operations. From 1993 to 2005 he was chair of the Nobel Foundation. Professor Samuelsson is well deserving of Karolinska Institutet's Golden Jubilee Medal for his outstanding contributions to medical science.

Marcus Storch

For many years director Marcus Storch has been a significant figure in Swedish medical research. Through the Tobias Foundation, which he and his family founded and now run, he has provided substantial research funds and financed important development projects in the healthcare sector. One such is the Tobias Registry, a national bone marrow registry based at Karolinska University Hospital that enables doctors to find suitable bone marrow for transplantation. Another is the endowment professorship in stem cell research that was established at Karolinska Institutet in 2001. Marcus Storch has held many leading positions in Swedish business, and has been chair of the Nobel Foundation since 2005. He is also an honorary doctor of medical sciences at Karolinska Institutet. Marcus Storch's commitment to Swedish research in general makes him a very worthy recipient of Karolinska Institutet's Golden Jubilee Medal.

Hans Wigzell

Professor Hans Wigzell is an inspirational leader who possesses immense scientific ingenuity and visionary enterprising spirit, and who has helped to develop Karolinska Institutet on many different levels. As a researcher he has made important discoveries in the field of immunology. In 1986 he became director of the National Bacteriological Laboratory and led its transformation into today's Institute for Infectious Disease Control. From 1995 to 2003, Professor Wigzell was president of Karolinska Institutet, at which time he instigated a number of important changes to the university, such as distributing faculty funds according to scientific quality and activity. An issue close to his heart has always been improving opportunities for the commercialisation of scientific discoveries, which has led, amongst other things, to the founding of Karolinska Development, today an international renowned innovation system in the biomedical field. Professor Wigzell has been scientific advisor to the Swedish government for many years. Professor Wigzell's contributions to the development of Karolinska Institutet make him a very deserving recipient of Karolinska Institutet's Golden Jubilee Medal.


Scanpix will be able to supply press material from the prize-giving ceremony at the Stockholm City Hall, when HRH the King will be presenting the medals in person to the above recipients. The material will be available from approximately 9.45 pm.

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