Published: 22-02-2023 10:09 | Updated: 22-02-2023 10:17

Molly Stevens awarded the Novo Nordisk Prize

Molly Stevens
Professor Molly Stevens won the 2023 Novo Nordisk Prize. Photo: David Vintiner

Professor Molly Stevens at Karolinska Institutet and Imperial College London has been awarded the 2023 Novo Nordisk Prize for her pioneering work in innovative bioengineering approaches. One of her goals is to democratise access to healthcare using nanotechnologies.

The 5 million Danish kronor (SEK 7.5 million) prize honours active scientists who have made outstanding contributions to advance medical science to benefit people’s lives. It is split into a DKK 4.5 million research grant and a DKK 500,000 personal award.

“Molly Stevens has made pioneering discoveries in bioengineering to develop innovative materials-based solutions across regenerative medicine, biosensing and therapeutics,” says Jørgen Frøkiær, chair of the Novo Nordisk Prize Committee. “She focuses on difficult problems that, if successfully addressed, will have great clinical impact.”

The work of Molly Stevens and her research team transcends medical research disciplines, spanning from bone tissue engineering to sensors for cancer diagnosis to delivery systems for drugs.

Harnessing the power of nanomaterials

“Imagine a world where diseases such as cancer, malaria and heart failure could be detected as simply, quickly and cheaply as pregnancy is today. We are harnessing the power of nanomaterials to make this dream a reality,” Molly Stevens says.

Molly Stevens received her PhD from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. in 2001. She did her postdoc between 2001 and 2003 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. in the team of Professor Robert Langer, one of the world’s most cited researchers. She became a professor at Imperial College London in 2008 and at Karolinska Institutet in 2015. Her work has been recognised by more than 20 major prizes, including the 2021 FEBS|EMBO Women in Science Award.

“Whether it is regenerative medicine, amplification of biosensing signals or the way that nanoparticles target and deliver cargoes, the interface between living and non-living matter has always been the central theme throughout my career,” Molly Stevens says of her research.

The prize ceremony is held in Bagsværd, Denmark on April 21.