Published: 18-05-2009 09:00 | Updated: 17-04-2015 14:37

KI's president awarded prestigious distinction

Karolinska Institutet accounts for almost half of the academic medical research conducted in Sweden, and contributes regularly to new discoveries that save lives and alleviate suffering. Today, the university's president, Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, is to receive an honorary distinction for eminent women in science by Exploratorium, the renowned American science museum.

Every year, a committee at the Exploratorium Museum of Science and Human Perception in San Francisco selects outstanding women from diverse fields, who are then honoured for their exceptional impact in science and their ability to inspire others. Apart from the Karolinska Institutet president, this year's list of recipients include Google's deputy CEO Marissa Mayer and particle physicist Helen Quinn of the SLAC national accelerator laboratory in the US.

"Karolinska Institutet's international commitment has been strengthened and intensified over the past few years, and this, I think, is one of the reasons that they've chosen to include me amongst these eminent women, says Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson. "If we're to have real successes improving human health, research must be conducted with cross-border cooperation."

A professor of physiology

Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson is a professor of physiology, and was appointed president of Karolinska Institutet in 2004 –the first woman ever to lead Sweden's only medical university. Throughout her term of office, she has represented Swedish research in a wide range of significant contexts, including as a member of the Swedish Government's Globalisation Council and the EU's Expert Group for competitive research environments.

"I feel very honoured to receive this distinction," she says. "What I find particularly gratifying is, perhaps, that my work inspires other women in research. But I'd also like to see this is as recognition of everything that Karolinska Institutet's scientists and employees have achieved in terms of improving human health around the world."

Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson is to receive the distinction today, 18 May, in San Francisco.