Published: 06-09-2013 00:00 | Updated: 13-02-2014 12:22

KI physiologist receives the 2013 Malin and Lennart Philipson Foundation Prize

Jorge Ruas PhD, is awarded the Malin and Lennart Philipson Foundation Prize and Research Grant for his outstanding and widely cited research regarding the control of muscle cell growth. The prize is a research grant of SEK 2 million, SEK 50,000 of which constitutes a personal award.

Dr Ruas received his PhD in 2005, and currently works at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, having previously been active at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in the USA. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms that mediate muscle mass and function, with a particular emphasis on finding future treatments against muscle atrophy. One discovery that Dr Ruas and his US based research group have made is a previously unknown protein in mice that helps muscles grow and become stronger through strength exercise. Since this protein is also found in humans, their results open up for possible treatments that could improve the performance capacity of patients and prevent muscle atrophy as a result of, for example, cancer, prolonged hospitalisation and ageing.

The Malin and Lennart Philipson Foundation Prize and Research Grant is awarded on alternate years at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet. The foundation's chairperson is Malin Philipson and its scientific committee comprises Li Felländer-Tsai, professor of orthopaedics at Karolinska Institutet, and Ulf Pettersson, professor of medical genetics at Uppsala University. They are both very pleased with the choice of Dr Jorge Ruas.

"Jorge Ruas has made important scientific discoveries, demonstrated a high degree of productivity and established an independent line of research," says Professor Felländer-Tsai. "He indeed deserves this award."

About the Malin and Lennart Philipson Foundation Prize and Research Grant

In memory of Professor Lennart Philipson, the board of the Malin and Lennart Philipson Foundation awards a prize and grant for molecular biomedical research with the aim to help young, promising scientists to establish an independent research group after their postdoc training. The grant sum is SEK 1 million per year for two years, including a personal prize during the first year of SEK 50,000. Apart from the researcher's scientific merits, the award also recognises the ability as a leader to establish a strong research group.

This year's prize is to be awarded at Karolinska Institutet's installation ceremony on 24 October.