Published: 24-08-2012 00:00 | Updated: 23-08-2022 13:23

Lennart Nilsson awarded Karolinska Institutet's gold medal on his 90th birthday

The Karolinska Institutet Jubilee Medal (Gold class) was awarded today to photographer and professor Lennart Nilsson. He receives the medal for his long-standing and groundbreaking contributions to the development and innovative advancement of medical photography.

Lennart Nilsson joined Karolinska Institutet in the 1970s, and was made an honorary doctor of medicine here in 1976. He is chiefly known for his use of microscope and pioneering key-hole photography to document the human body down to cellular level, and was the first person to photograph a live fetus in utero. Professor Nilsson had his major breakthrough in 1965 with his book 'A Child is Born' and a critically acclaimed photographic feature for Life magazine. Since then, he has continued to push the boundaries of medical photography and has received a host of awards and prizes. Lennart Nilsson's books have been published in over thirty languages, and the TV series 'The Miracle of Life' is one of the most widely broadcast Swedish documentaries ever.

The Karolinska Institutet Jubilee Medal was instituted to mark the university's 200th anniversary in 2010 and is awarded in acknowledgement of exceptional contributions to medical research and Karolinska Institutet.

Lennart Nilsson received the medal at a ceremony in Karolinska Institutet's Nobel Forum. He was also toasted in celebration of his 90th birthday, in connection with which he donated his photographic equipment to Karolinska Institutet.

”I feel enormously proud and honoured,” says Professor Nilsson. ”I've had a wonderful time here at Karolinska Institutet and am exceedingly grateful at having had this opportunity to work with so many excellent scientists. This donation is a way for me to repay the generosity I've been shown at KI.”