Karolinska Institutet awards medals to people who have made special contributions to support KI. The medals are available in three categories: gold medal, grand silver medal and silver medal. Medals are awarded in connection with various academic ceremonies. The nominations are reviewed by the President, the Vice President, the University Director, the Academic Vice President for Research, the Academic Vice President for Doctoral Education, and the Academic Vice President for Higher Education.

Medals 2022

Marianne Schultzberg. Photo: Erik Cronberg

Silver medal

Marianne Schultzberg, Professor at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, is awarded the Silver Medal for her outstanding contribution to third-cycle education and her research into neurodegenerative diseases.

Marianne Schultzberg has shown great commitment to doctoral students and third-cycle education at Karolinska Institutet in her ten years as Director of Studies for third-cycle education at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, and also in a central management role as Deputy Dean and Dean of third-cycle education at Karolinska Institutet. As Deputy Dean and Dean, Marianne worked to ensure a good environment for third-cycle education with talented researchers, good instrumentation and networks, and a good psychosocial environment. One example of this work was the introduction of a “green light” for supervisors across the university, which specifically highlighted discrimination and discriminatory treatment.

Other priorities have included the importance of a strong link between clinical aspects and research. In this respect, Marianne has implemented a number of initiatives for the clinical graduate schools, a very important function to facilitate third-cycle education for clinicians. Under Marianne’s leadership, a review of the conditions and acceptance ratio for the clinical graduate schools was conducted, which looked at issues such as increasing the number of places at the school with emphasis on epidemiology. Marianne also realised how important it was to give doctoral students and other researchers the tools to develop their research findings, including through the graduate school in Drug, development and design. Other areas where Marianne has worked to support include encouraging new or supporting ongoing international collaborations for doctoral students with universities in other countries.

Marianne Schultzberg received her PhD from Karolinska Institutet in 1980 and has had a very long and extensive research career in neurobiology and dementia research. The fact that most neurodegenerative diseases have an inflammatory component has been concretised with important contributions from Marianne’s research, which has shown that neuroinflammation in the brain in Alzheimer’s sufferers plays a crucial role in factors such as the activation of pro-inflammatory components, as well as the protective effects of molecules that terminate inflammation. By combining studies in cell and animal models with analysis of patient material, Marianne has succeeded in gaining new insights into the inflammatory processes and, in a translational approach, paved the way for potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Rolf Kiessling
Rolf Kiessling. Photo: N/A

Rolf Kiessling, senior professor of experimental oncology at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, receives the Silver Medal for having devoted his entire career to conducting world class science at Karolinska Institutet.

Rolf Kiessling has devoted his life and career to improving the outcome for cancer patients in Sweden and worldwide, and he has trained several generations of Swedish scientists to become outstanding scientists.

Rolf Kiessling earned his his PhD degree in 1976 at Karolinska Institutet. As a graduate student at Karolinska Institutet, he discovered the natural killer (NK) cell which is an important component of the immune response to viruses and cancer cells. The discovery of NK cells is a breakthrough in the history of immunology research. Hundreds if not thousands of laboratories around the world focus their research on NK cells biology. It is only in the past several years that NK cell immunotherapy has started to be implemented in clinical trials in patients with advanced cancer. Encouraging results from these trials indicate that NK cells will likely play a greater role in future cancer therapies.

Later in his career, Rolf Kiessling focused his lab on T cell-based aspects of cancer immunotherapy. His laboratory discovered new antigens on tumor cells which can be recognized by the immune system, studied the tumor microenvironment, and devised strategies to reverse the immune suppressive environment. All of this work has led to his current and most successful set of clinical trials at the Karolinska Institutet to combine adoptive T cell transfer with cancer vaccines which have led to remarkable clinical responses for patients with advanced cancer.

Göran Dahllöf
Göran Dahllöf Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Göran Dahllöf, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Dental Medicine, is awarded the Karolinska Institutet Silver Medal for his outstanding contributions to teaching, clinical practice and research.

Göran Dahllöf received his doctorate from Karolinska Institutet in 1986 and became a specialist in paediatric and adolescent dentistry the same year. He has worked at the highest levels of clinical, educational and research practice throughout his career. His work has been internationally groundbreaking, helping to define a position for Karolinska Institutet in the field of odontology. Furthermore, his work has had a major impact on the development of odontology in Sweden thanks to the large number of offices he has successfully held. His efforts for the dentistry programme have made a significant contribution to the quality of education far beyond his own specialist field, and he has served as an inspiration and role model for several generations of dentists.

For twenty years (1987–2009), Göran Dahllöf has been the course provider for the paediatric and adolescent dentistry course, one of the major clinical courses in dental education. Between 2003 and 2015, he led the work on a new study plan for dental education that emphasised professional development, scientific training, placed emphasis on general medical education, patients with special needs and the introduction of standardised clinical examinations.

Göran’s main research theme has looked at clinical odontological treatment research, which can be divided into three themes: oral complications in children with chronic diseases and disabilities, caries prevention for socio-economically disadvantaged groups, and dental phobia.

Göran Dahllöf was a clinical specialist and dental consultant working in paediatric and adolescent dentistry between 1987 and 2017. His main focus was the oral health of children with chronic diseases and disabilities. He created collaborations with the clinics for paediatric medicine and paediatric rehabilitation at Huddinge Hospital and the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, and worked both clinically and academically with many groups of children and adolescents at increased risk of oral diseases. He has also worked with psychologists to develop and scientifically test CBT programmes for treating injection phobia, which have been demonstrated to be very effective.

Lena Borell
Lena Borell Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Lena Borell, Senior Professor of Occupational Therapy at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, is awarded the Silver Medal for her outstanding contributions to the development of research and education in care sciences with major relevance to the development of healthcare.

Lena Borell was appointed the first professor of occupational therapy in Sweden and Europe in 2000. As one of the first occupational therapists in Sweden to hold a doctorate, she led the development of the occupational therapy programme at Karolinska Institutet towards a university subject and an academic programme with research and third-cycle education. Before programme relocated to KI from the School of Health and Welfare in 1998, Borell initiated a research group that included lecturers and associate professors in occupational therapy, as well as visiting researchers from other disciplines, to contribute research related to the rehabilitation of older people and interventions aimed at dementia sufferers. This was an important step in creating a link between education and research that had not existed previously. Lena Borell worked strategically to engage lecturers and associate professors in research and in international work and pursued the goal of educational excellence. This initial venture is reflected in the current activities, with outstanding research into older people and rehabilitation, well-established and longstanding international collaborations and educationally innovative projects in courses and study programmes.

Lena Borell has worked in several leading roles in which she has strengthened not only occupational therapy but the care science research as a whole at Karolinska Institutet. Among other things, she has chaired the Healthcare Research Board at KI (1998–2002), as well as the Centre for Healthcare Science at KI (2002–2007). In 2008, she led extensive efforts to formulate KI’s strategy for healthcare research at KI (SFO-V) within the framework of the major Swedish national initiative on strategic research domains (SFO).

Her efforts to strengthen care science research at Karolinska Institutet has also included work on developing regional collaboration with the municipality of Stockholm and municipal health and medical care. The aim has been to strengthen both research and education at Karolinska Institutet through collaborative projects with Stockholms Stad Äldreförvaltningen and the Innovation Office of the City of Stockholm.

Portrait of Ingrid Lundberg.
Ingrid Lundberg. Photo: Vasan Kandaswamy

Grand Silver Medal

Ingrid Lundberg, professor at the Department of Medicine in Solna, is awarded the Grand Silver Medal for her efforts on behalf of Karolinska Institutet in pioneering scientific work on the rheumatic disease myositis, an area in which she is currently the world’s leading researcher.

Ingrid Lundberg's myositis research has altered understanding, diagnosis and treatment of this disease all over the world. She began her research on inflammatory muscle disease by observing patients suffering from myositis during her doctoral studies at Karolinska Institutet and Huddinge hospital in the late 1980´s when she saw the poor medical prognosis and great lack of knowledge relating to the disease, as well as observing how individual patients who engaged in physical exercise recovered, even though textbooks at the time strongly advised against movement and exercise. Two of the most clinically relevant research results that Ingrid Lundberg's research group have produced over the last 25 years are how physical exercise relieves myositis and how the disease develops over time. This has led to greatly improved and earlier diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Ingrid Lundberg has made unique efforts to ensure that this research is also put into clinical practice in Sweden and abroad, and has carried out wide-ranging activities for Karolinska Institutet nationally and internationally. In this way, she has contributed to Karolinska Institutet's international reputation by creating a clinically rooted research environment at the university to which researchers and clinics across the globe turn for advice and collaboration regarding myositis disease.

Ingrid also has a long-term commitment to female researchers nationally and internationally. At Karolinska Institutet, she has served as chair for the Centre for Gender Medicine and has in many other ways supported and mentored female researchers in a range of different subjects.

Portrait of Stefan Einhorn.
Stefan Einhorn. Photo: Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin/Natur och Kultur

Stefan Einhorn, professor at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, is awarded the Grand Silver Medal for his magnificent contributions to Karolinska Institutet.

Stefan Einhorn defended his dissertation in 1980 at the age of 24, and was then one of KI's all-time youngest students to receive a Doctor of Medicine. He became an associate professor two years later, and has been a professor of molecular oncology since 1999. He was one of the initiators of the Center for Social Sustainability (CSS) at Karolinska Institutet, the purpose of which is to create a platform for increasing knowledge about social sustainability through research. He also established the Einhorn Family Foundation, which, among other things, gives support to research projects, with the aim of reducing child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries. Between 1999 and 2002, Stefan also headed the Department of Oncology-Pathology.

For decades, Stefan Einhorn has been deeply involved in education at Karolinska Institutet, and, in 1999, was appointed by students as "Master", the students own personal prize awarded to teachers who have taught in an inspiring and instructional manner. 

With great commitment, Stefan Einhorn has worked according to the vision of using his medical training and postgraduate education to disseminate knowledge to the general public about subjects in the humanities within areas such as ethics, wisdom, treatment, relationships and spiritual needs. He has written fifteen books, two of which are popular science books about cancer, one is about pain, and the others are on the subject of human relationships.

Jan Andersson, professor emeritus vid institutionen för medicin, Huddinge. Photo: Karl Gabor

Jan Andersson, professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge, is awarded the Grand Silver Medal for his outstanding contributions to Karolinska Institutet. He has taken on important administrative assignments ranging from Vice-President of Karolinska Institutet to the establishment of the Stockholm Medical Biobank, and been a tireless champion of furthering the complex and sensitive task to facilitate interaction between the many academic and clinical bodies in the Stockholm region.

Jan Andersson has been associated with Karolinska Institutet for his whole professional life. He earned his medical degree at Karolinska Institutet in 1978. In 1985, he received his doctoral degree on antiviral mechanisms in Epstein-Barr virus infection at Karolinska Institutet.

His research has focused on pathogenesis and immune response of primary Epstein-Barr-virus and HIV infection. He has developed techniques for identification of cytokine/chemokine expressing cells at the single cell level and developed digital methods for in situ quantitative measurement to be applied in tissue and at the single cell level. His method for Fluorescence-activated cell sorting measurements has emerged as the gold standard in the field. These methods have been used in the characterization of pathogenesis and immune response of primary Epstein-Barr-virus and HIV infections. Jan Andersson has gained widespread recognition as a leading expert on the mechanisms and treatment of infectious diseases. He has been a bridge between the clinic and the laboratory, developing state-of-the-art methods in the field of infectious disease.

Medals 2010-2021

Gold Medal

2016 - Torsten Wiesel and Rune Fransson

2015 - Harriet Wallberg

2012 - Lennart Nilsson

2010 - Ingvar Carlsson, Paul Greengard, Bengt Samuelsson, Markus Storch, Hans Wigzell and H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf

Grand Silver Medal

2021 - Gunnar Grant and Rune Toftgård

2020 - Ove Hagelin, Richard J. Heald, Hans Jörnvall, Lars Olson and Nancy Pedersen

2019 - Anita Aperia, Sten Grillner, Bertil Hamberger and Mai-Lis Hellénius

2018 - Laura Fratiglioni, Håkan Eriksson and Bertil Fredholm

2017 - Marc Bygdeman and Tore Curstedt

2016 - Anders Ekbom, Ingemar Ernberg, Agneta Nordberg, Bengt Norrving and Elisabeth Olsson

2015 - Gunnel Biberfeld, Britta Wahren and SGO Johansson

2014 - Staffan Normark, Lars Klareskog and Hans Rosling

2013 - Gösta Gahrton, Folke Sjöqvist and Bengt Winblad

2012 - Peter Aspelin, Dimitris N. Chorafas, Suad Efendic and Nina Rehnqvist Ahlberg

2011 - Hans-Olov Adami, Lars Ekholm, Jan-Åke Gustafsson, Kerstin Hall and Tomas Hökfelt

2010 - Margareta Almling, Margareta Blombäck, Kerstin Hagenfeldt, Ulf Hjertonsson, Gunnar Höglund, Eva Klein, Georg Klein, Sten Linder-Aronson, Jan Lindsten, Anna-Stina Malmborg, Erling Norrby, Sten Orrenius, Nelson Sewankambo, Göran Stiernstedt and Yi-Xin Zeng

Silver Medal

2021 - Maria Masucci, Christina Helging Opava, Åke Rökaeus and Jan Ygge

2020 - Kristina Alexandersson and Roland Möllby

2019 - Lena von Koch and Björn Klinge

2018 - Fredrik Brolund and Lotta Widén Holmqvist

2017 - Lars-Olof Wahlund and Eva Mattsson

2016 - Gunnar Lennerstrand and Elisabeth Kjellén

2014 - Outi Hovatta and Björn Vennström

2013 - Hugo Lagercrantz, Sten Lindahl and Marie Åsberg

2012 - Kerstin Brismar, Bertil Daneholt, Johan Forsslöf and Karin Harms-Ringdahl

2011 - Agneta von Bahr, Inger Huldt, Kerstin Lagerström and Arne Öhman

2010 - Tomas Cronholm, Staffan Cullheim, Marja Lind Tuomela, Ester Mogensen, Per Olsson and Birger Winbladh

The Silver Medal

The medal can be awarded to a person who has made excellent efforts to support the activities of Karolinska Institutet’s mission – not only its education and research but also its outreach activities as well as its working environment/core values and implementation.

One or more medals are awarded in conjunction with the ceremony for Diligence and Devotion. The Silver Medal is primarily intended for internal recipients, yet it can also be awarded to external recipients.

The Gold Medal

The medal can be awarded to a person who has made unparalleled efforts to support the activities of Karolinska Institutet – not only its education and research but also its outreach activities as well as its working environment/core values and implementation.

One or more medals are awarded upon an occasion determined by the President. The Gold Medal is primarily awarded to an external recipient, yet in very special cases it can also be awarded to internal recipients.

Recipients of Gold Medals may not be simultaneously appointed as honorary doctors at Karolinska Institutet, however, previously appointed honorary doctors at Karolinska Institutet can be awarded a Gold Medal and vice versa.

The Grand Silver Medal

The medal can be awarded to a person who has made tremendous efforts to support the activities of Karolinska Institutet’s mission – not only its education and research but also its outreach activities as well as its working environment/core values and implementation.

One or more medals are awarded in conjunction with the installation ceremony in Aula Medica. The Grand Silver Medal is primarily awarded to external recipients, yet in special cases it can also be awarded to internal recipients.