The Erik K. Fernström Prize
The prize is awarded to a younger researcher who is successful and shows particular promise and who, as of 31 December of the year the prize relates to, has still not reached the age of 45. The award takes place as a result of nomination.
The Erik K Fernström Foundation was formed in 1978 to promote scientific and medical research. The primary purpose of the Foundation is to make an annual award of monetary prizes to researchers who have made outstanding contributions within the medical sciences. Fernström’s special desire was to stimulate younger researchers. The Foundation therefore makes an annual award of a Nordic prize and six prizes to relatively young medical researchers active in Sweden. Each one of Sweden’s medical faculties designates its own prize winner.
Prize winner 2017- Óscar Fernandez-Capetillo
Dr Óscar Fernandez-Capetillo receives the Eric K. Fernströms prize for young, promising and successful researchers, at Karolinska Institutet for his groundbreaking research on the field of cancer and ageing.
Dr Fernandez-Capetillo joined Karolinska Institutet as Professor of Cancer Therapy in 2014 after being offered an international recruitment grant from the Swedish Research Council. He has focused his research on studying how cells deal with replication stress, a type of DNA damage that occurs during DNA replication, and which is mainly suppressed by the ATR kinase. Among others, his research revealed that replication stress accelerates ageing in mammals, and that ATR inhibitors have potential as an anticancer therapy. At Karolinska, his group is now exploring other areas of medical interest such as trying to develop a therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or the chemical modulation of immune tolerance mechanisms”
Previous prize winners
2016 - Rickard Sandberg
Rickard Sandberg, Professor at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, is awarded the prize for pioneering single-cell technologies and his important discoveries of gene regulatory mechanisms across mammalian tissues and in singe cells.
In his research, Rickard Sandberg combines genome-wide experimental and computational techniques to study gene regulation in development and disease.
His lab made an important breakthrough with the development of a full-length single-cell transcriptome method that has enabled researchers to explore the diversity of cell types within tissues, together with their complete molecular profile. The method is also important for rare cells in disease, and Rickard Sandberg’s lab was first to molecular profile melanoma-derived circulating tumors cells.
The single-cell resolution also enabled the Sandberg lab to discover abundant allelic fluctuations in the transcription of the paternal and maternal chromosomes, important for our understanding of gene expression itself, and how it may effect haploinsufficiency, incomplete penetrance and expressivity of phenotypic traits.
2015 - Sten Linnarsson
Sten Linnarsson, Professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics has been awarded the Eric K Fernström Prize for 2015. He is receiving the prize for establishing himself as an internationally leading researcher within the area single cell analysis, where he contributed with both publicized work focusing on methods and with studies where this technology has been used for investigations which have resulted in breakthrough biological findings.
2014 - Thomas Helleday
Thomas Helleday, Professor of Chemical Biology at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Karolinska Institutet, is awarded the prize for his efforts to find new types of targets for cancer treatment.
2013 - Tibor Harkany
Tibor Harkany, Professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, is awarded the prize for his discoveries concerning the structure and function of nerve cells.
2012 - Kirsty Spalding
Kirsty Spalding, Senior research fellow at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, is warded the prize for her pioneering studies on fat and adipose cell (adipocyte) turnover and their role in general metabolism.
2011 - Luca Jovine
Luca Jovine, Professor at the Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, is awarded the prize for his research on conception and the interaction between sperm and egg at a molecular level.
2010 - Jussi Taipale
Jussi Taipale, Professor at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition is awarded the prize for his pioneering research on growth in cells and organs and what it is that goes wrong when cancer occurs.
2009 - Nico Dantuma
Nico Dantuma, Professor at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology is awarded the prize in recognition of his groundbreaking work into the mechanisms of protein degradation.