Honorary Doctors

Every year, Karolinska Institutet confers honorary doctorates to individuals for vital scientific achievements or significant contributions to the university or humanity at large. Karolinska Institutet appointed its first Honorary Doctors of Medicine and Odontology in 1910 anmitted. Nominations are accepted from 1910 to 1949 respectively. Between 1910-2024, 325 appointments were made.

Eligible to nominate are all employees of KI, as well as visiting scientists affiliated to KI.

Nominations can be made for:

- scientific achievements, especially those with a relationship to Karolinska Institutet

- significant contributions to the university and its activities

- significant contributions to the world, to Sweden or to society within the areas of interest of Karolinska Institutet.

Who already is a doctor in medicine at a Swedish university, or has been awarded an honorary doctorate in medicine at a Swedish university cannot be appointed honorary doctor in medicine at another Swedish university. Please also note that previous years’ nominations must be renewed.
Only a small number of the nominees will receive honorary doctorates and therefore the proponents should not contact the nominees before the decision is made.

Honorary Doctors 2024 - Ashley Moffett and Peter Thelin

Ashley Moffet, professor emerita at the University of Cambridge, UK, is awarded KI’s honorary doctorate for a lifetime of research that has made groundbreaking discoveries concerning the biological mechanisms behind serious conditions associated with pregnancy. These include preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and unexplained fetal death, which together affect up 10 per cent of all pregnancies.

Professor Moffet’s research has found that these diseases originate from critical interactions between natural killer (NK) cells in the decidua (the part of the uterus where the embryo is implanted) and the cells that form the placenta (trophoblasts), which derive from the fetus.

Internationally, Professor Moffett has been recognised for her work in developing countries, such as Uganda, where she has helped to develop national programmes for research, education and information in the field of maternal healthcare.

Peter Thelin, the chair of the Swedish Brain Fund and co-founder of the financial company Brummer & Partners, has spent over a decade putting a great deal of his time and energy into research at Karolinska Institutet – a commitment that has resulted in long-term funding for many research groups at KI.

Thelin was an active participant in the anniversary campaign committee ahead of KI’s bicentenary celebrations in 2010. The committee raised SEK 1 billion and KI forged new links with donors from many sections of society.

As a member of KI’s investment council, which decides on KI’s foundations and donations, Thelin has given prudent advice and played an important part in securing higher yields on KI’s investments.

Thelin is also a member of KI’s philanthropic council, and has served as an advisor in raising research funds for several KI presidents.

Grants from the Swedish Brain Fund support brain research in Sweden and KI. Since Peter Thelin became the chair of the Swedish Brain Fund in 2016, the raising and distribution of funds has increased markedly.

This has given rise to a greater understanding of complex brain processes and thus new therapeutic strategies for such diseases as stroke, Parkinson’s, ALS and Alzheimer’s.

Press release

Anne Thyrfing