Sven Gard's scholarship

Sven Gard's scholarship is awarded annually for the best dissertation in virology. The scholarship takes place as a result of nomination.

Pradeepa Pushparaj
Pradeepa Pushparaj. Photo by Natasa Vukovic

Sven Gard scholarship winner

The 2024 year recipient of The Sven Gards scholarship for best thesis in virology during 2023 is Pradeepa Pushparaj, who wrote her thesis at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor- and Cell Biology, at Karolinska Institutet.

She is awarded for her thesis Immunoglobulin gene usage and affinity maturation in antiviral antibodies.

The motivation from the jury: ”For her very high quality and detailed studies on the development of the antibody responses to human virus infections.” 

The assessment is based on the very high quality of the dissertation's constituent works, the quality of the dissertation's framework narrative and the strong letter of support.

Previous scholarship winners

2023 Katie Healy and Sebastian Ols

Katie Healy, with her PhD at the Department of Dental Medicine. Now postdoc at the Department of laboratory medicine in Huddinge, was awarded for her dissertation "Potential role of MAIT cells in cancer immunotherapy and viral infection."

Sebastian Ols at the Department of medicine in Solna, was awarded for his dissertation ”Cellular and molecular mechanisms for induction of broad anti-viral B cell responses through vaccination.”

Scholarship winner 2022 - Maike Winters

Maike Winters was awarded for her dissertation "Contagious (Mis)Communication: the role of risk communication and misinformation in infectious disease outbreaks".

Scholarship winner 2021 - Benedict Strunz

Benedikt Strunz was awarded for his dissertation "Human innate lymphocytes in host defense, tissue function and reproduction.".

Scholarship winner 2020 - Carles Solà Riera

Carles Solà Riera, was awarded for his dissertation "Hantaviruses, Escapees from the death row – viral mechanisms towards apoptosis resistance."

Scholarship winner 2019 - Ganesh Phad

Ganesh Phad was awarded for his disseration, Repertoire diversity and maturation of HIV-1 vaccine-induced B cell responses.

Scholarship winner 2018 - Heinrich Schlums

Heinrich Schlums was awarded for his dissertation Human Cytotoxic lymphocyte differentiation in health disease.

The dissertation deals with the differentiation of cytotoxic NK and T cells, among others. a. in conjunction with cytomegalovirus infection (CMV), which has clear effects on the development of the immune system.

Scholarship winner 2017 - Eva Herweijer

Eva Herweijer at the Department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, MEB, won the scholarship for her thesis on HPV vaccination, Register-based evaluation of HPV vaccination programs.

Scholarship winner 2016 - Klara Miriam Elfström

Klara Miriam Elfström was awarded the scholarship for her thesis Optimizing Cervical cancer Prevention through Screening and HPV Vaccination.

Scholarship winner 2015 - Marcus Buggert

Marcus Buggert at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH) won the scholarship for his thesis Interdisciplinary characterization of T cell dynamics in HIV Infections.

Scholarship winner 2014 - Lina Odevall

Lina Odevall at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) won the scholarship for her thesis Characterization of HIV-1 populations in infected cells.

Scholarship winner 2013 - Christopher Sundling

Christopher Sundling at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) won the scholarship for his thesis Dissection of HIV-1 Env-Specific B Cell Responses in Nonhuman Primates.

Scholarship winner 2012 - Niklas Björkström

Niklas Björkström at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH) won the scholarship for his thesis Human natural killer cell activation and differentiation in health and viral infection.

Scholarship winner 2011 - Ulrika Johansson

Ulrika Johansson at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH) won the scholarship for her thesis Dendritic cell responses to apoptotic cells – is there a life after death?

Scholarship winner 2010 - Shang-Rung Wu

Shang-Rung Wu at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition (BioNut) won the scholarship for her thesis Activation of the spike proteins of alpha- and retroviruses.

Scholarship winner 2009 - Jonas Hardestam

Jonas Hardestam at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) won the scholarship for his thesis Hantaviruses – Shedding, Stability and Induction of Apoptosis.

Sven Gard - Virologist with a decisive role in the eradication of polio

Sven Gard was born in 1905 and grew up in Södermalm, Stockholm. Early in college at Södra Latin, Gard showed a clear talent for mathematics and natural sciences. He chose to study medicine and received a medical candidate degree in 1929 and a medical licentiate degree in 1934 at Karolinska Institutet (KI). He early came in contact with microbiology, especially virology since the polio epidemics emerged as an ever-increasing threat in the 20th century. He made decisive action for the development of the Swedish killed polio vaccine. With this vaccine, the disease was eradicated from our country.

Sven Gard had a sharp intellect and an unusual overview of the medical sciences and especially the microbiology. He came to play a major role in the Nobel Prize work at KI, for almost all his time as a professor. He was an introductory speaker at the Nobel Prize ceremonies no less than five times, which is unique among teachers at KI.

Gard didn´t have any children. All the assets he and his wife collected and which he left behind at his death in 1998, was donated to the Karolinska Institutet's Virus Research Fund.
With great success he handled the management of the assets, as long as he lived. Extended text about Sven Gard (PDF).

Content reviewer:
Kia Olsson