The Med Dr Axel Hirsch Prize
This prize is awarded annually by the Committee for Research at Karolinska Institutet as "recognition for a scientific article of high value published by a Swedish scientific researcher". Those awarded are chosen through a nomination procedure.
Prize winner 2022
Jorge Ruas is awarded the Med Dr Axel Hirsch prize 2022. He is professor of Molecular Physiology and group leader for the Molecular and Cellular Exercise Physiology research group.
The motivation from the expert panel is: "Jorge L Ruas is awarded the Med Dr Axel Hirsch Prize for research in chemistry /physiology for his pioneering studies of the molecular and chemical mechanisms that explain how physical exercise can be of benefit for the whole body. His findings that muscle cells secrete so-called "Myokines", which Ruas found consist of molecules such as the kynurenine metabolites of the amino acid tryptophan and the protein neurturin, and that he found these molecules to improve both mental health and the functions of the immune system through cell-to-cell communication from muscles to nerves and immune cells, have received well-deserved worldwide attention."
The prize is awarded at the Professors inauguration ceremony.
Previous prize winners
Prize winner 2021
Pete Williams is awarded the Med Dr Axel Hirsch prize 2021. He is a PhD and assistant professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at KI.
The motivation from the expert panel was: "PhD Pete Williams receives Medical Doctor Axel Hirsch Prize in ophthalmology. Williams receives the prize for his groundbreaking studies on glaucoma and the discovery that metabolic dysfunction casues mitochondrial abnormalities and neurodegeneration in patients with glaucoma. By restoring the metabolic balance with common vitamin B, Williams has in animal models shown that the neurodegeneration can be prevented. The studies pave the way for neuroprotective treatment of glaucoma and other neurodegenerative diseases."
Prize winner 2020
David Gisselsson Nord is awarded the Med Dr Axel Hirsch prize 2020. He is Professor of molecular pathology at Lund University and Director for pediatric and fetal pathology in the southern healthcare region of Sweden.
The motivation of the expert panel is: "Because he, with the combination of a pathologists trained mind for tissue geography and a knowledge of genetics, has made it possible to visualize recurring distribution patterns of gene-altered cancer cells. Such patterns reflect previously unknown biological information that is crucial for understanding the malignant potential of childhood tumors."
2019 - Anna Martling
Anna Martling is awarded the Med Dr Axel Hirsch prize 2019. She is professor of Surgery at Karolinska Institutet and Senior Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.
The motivation of the expert group is: "Professor Anna Martling is awarded the Medicine Doctor Axel Hirsch Prize 2019, for her groundbreaking research with large randomized studies to improve survival and quality of life for patients with rectal cancer. Her results have been of great importance, both nationally and internationally, for better treatment of these patients."
2018 - Gunnar C. Hansson
Gunnar C. Hansson, professor in medical and physiological chemistry at the University of Gothenburg, is awarded the Axel Hirsch Prize 2018.
He is awarded for the discovery of a new type of cells, so-called goblet cells, which guard the entrances to the bowel crypt and prevent bacterial infection.
The decision is made by the Board of Research at Karolinska Institutet.
2017 - Nils Hansson
Nils Hansson, researcher at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, is awarded the Axel Hirsch Prize 2017 for his research in Swedish and German archives on candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine who were not awarded the prize. Since 2014 Nils Hansson has written 17 articles on this theme, several of which have been published or are in press in recognised scientific journals.
Nils Hansson received his PhD from Lund University in 2013, defending a thesis on medical contact between Sweden and Germany during the Nazi era.
2016 - Mats Wahlgren
Mats Wahlgren, professor at the Department of Microbiology, Tumour and Cell Biology is awarded the prize for his studies of the mechanisms by which blood group 0 protects against severe malaria.
2014 - Yihai Cao
Yihai Cao, Professor at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet is awarded the 2014 Axel Hirsch Prize for his groundbreaking studies on angiogenesis and its importance for numerous physiological and pathological conditions.
2013 - Anders Kvanta
Anders Kvanta, Chief Physician at the St. Erik Eye Hospital and Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet is awarded the Axel Hirsch Prize for research which lays the foundation for treating one of our most common retinal diseases.
2012 - Per-Olof Berggren
Per-Olof Berggren, professor at the Rolf Luft Research Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Karolinska Institutet, is awarded the Axel Hirsch Prize for his discovery that insulin secretion in the pancreas is not controlled directly by nerves as was previously thought, but only indirectly by the blood.
2011 - Lars Lundell
Lars Lundell, adjunct professor at the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, has been awarded the Axel Hirsch Prize, for his studies into a serious form of acid reflux known as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
2010 - Christer Betsholtz
Christer Betsholtz, Professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Karolinska Institutet has been awarded the Axel Hirsch Prize for a series of internationally noted and widely cited research papers on how blood vessels are formed (angiogenesis).
2009 - Torkel Klingberg
Torkel Klingberg, Professor at the Department of Woman and Child Health at Karolinska Institutet has been awarded the Axel Hirsch Prize in recognition of his cutting edge research on the development of the working memory in people with functional impairment.