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 1910-2023, 323 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 2023 - Wilhelmina Hoffman and Fredrik Lundberg
Wilhelmina Hoffman is a specialist in geriatrics, and is one of this year’s recipients of an honorary doctorate of medicine from Karolinska Institutet. Medical advances require research, innovation, education and the effective clinical implementation of scientific evidence. Wilhelmina Hoffman has been pioneering in her understanding of these interconnections and the need for change, and her opening of new collaborative channels between universities, particularly KI, and healthcare at primary, specialised environments and nursing homes. Throughout her career, she has focused with great acumen and purpose on building bridges between academy and clinic, science and clinical practice, and research and education.
Wilhelmina Hoffman’s contributions as CEO of Silviahemmet and the Swedish Dementia Centre have led to great improvements in elderly care through the training of clinical personnel and the implementation of evidence-based clinical practice. The evidence-based care programme, which was initially offered to nursing auxiliaries and nurses at Stiftelsen Silviahemmet, has since been extended with the help of KI to a Master’s degree in dementia care for doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Thirty-two doctors and 20 therapists have graduated to date. A new dementia programme began in 2021 for dentists, dental hygienists, speech therapists and audiologists, of which six employees have already received a certificate. This is also being run in association with KI.
Dr Hoffman draws her inspiration from her years of clinical experience in geriatrics, upon which she has developed a comprehensive method for the care of the elderly that places the patient in the centre of many different public health interventions, from preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic to relevant health-related issues such as function and social care.
Thanks to her sterling work in Sweden and abroad, Dr Hoffman has become a key player in the dissemination of the latest information on dementia and dementia care to professionals, lay people and decision-makers.
Engineer and economist Fredrik Lundberg is the second recipient of an honorary doctorate in medicine from Karolinska Institutet. The thoracical surgery research group contacted Fredrik Lundberg in 2006 to ask if he could contribute financially to its cardiovascular research specialising in diseases of the aortic valve and ascending aorta. Fredrik Lundberg showed an immediate interest in the issues, and by the following year had made a large donation to the multidisciplinary, translation research project on these diseases.
The group that has been formed around these projects has included some 50 researchers and doctors, and involved a variety of departments at KI. Their results have been presented at countless national and international meetings, conferences and workshops, and given rise to a number of major international collaborations. Further generous donations have since been made over the years.
With Fredrik Lundberg’s recurring support, a large number of scientific papers have been published and theses defended, and the scientific results generated have benefited patients by reforming preoperative investigations and surgical strategies and by developing gentler and more targeted follow-up programmes.
Apart from providing much-needed financial support, Fredrik Lundberg has shown a personal interest in education at KI. He and members of his family take part in the annual Lundberg Symposium, to which he himself participates actively in the discussions.