Published: 19-03-2015 13:34 | Updated: 20-03-2015 07:38

New honorary doctors at Karolinska Institutet 2015

The Board of Research at Karolinska Institutet has appointed four new honorary doctors, who will have their doctorates formally conferred at a ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall on May 22nd 2015.

Every year, Karolinska Institutet confers honorary doctorates to individuals for their vital scientific achievements or significant contributions to the university or humanity at large.

Mariam Claeson, Honorary Doctor of Medicine (MDhc)

The title of Honorary Doctor of Medicine has been awarded to Mariam Claeson, Director of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, USA.

Mariam Claeson. Foto: Bill och Melinda Gates Foundation.jpgMariam Claeson has spent her entire professional career successfully introducing the results of new medical research to those who need them the most – women and children in low-income countries. After graduating from Karolinska Institutet with an MD in 1979, she worked in health and medical care in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Ethiopia. After a brief period in Sweden as a global health consultant she was recruited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) where she remained for 6 years. For the next 18 years she held positions as medical consultant in various senior posts at the World Bank Group, and currently holds a senior post at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation..

Barry John Everitt, Honorary Doctor of Medicine (MDhc)

The title of Honorary Doctor of Medicine has been awarded to Barry John Everitt, zoology and psychology graduate, and Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, England.

Barry Everitt. Foto: Bruce Head PhotographyBarry Everitt was one of the first to show how hormones affect the signalling substances in the brain through which they control our sex drive. With the same methods he subsequently also tackled the systems that control drug addiction. Through his studies Barry Everitt has changed our perception of neurobiological and psychological mechanisms in drug addiction and his discovery has also played a key role in developing new treatments for addiction and certain psychiatric illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Barry Everitt introduced behavioural sciences to Karolinska Institutet and inspired many researchers in this field. He has held a number of positions of responsibility at Karolinska Institutet, has been awarded numerous scientific accolades and has been on a large number of international scientific committees and advisory bodies.

Bertil Hållsten, Honorary Doctor of Medicine (MDhc)

Bertil Hållsten. Foto: Gunnar AskThe title of Honorary Doctor of Medicine has been awarded to Bertil Hållsten, PhD in Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics and later Professor of Economics at the Royal College of Forestry. Following a career in academia, Bertil Hållsten worked as an advisor and portfolio manager handling investments in research-intensive companies in the life science area. In 2003 he founded the Hållsten Research Foundation, and has since then contributed significant funding to Swedish medical research, mainly through the Swedish Brain Foundation. In 2014, Bertil Hållsten donated additional funds to enable the inception of four Hållsten Academy Fellows at Karolinska Institutet, where young researchers of particular promise received generous grants for four years.

Tak W Mak, Honorary Doctor of Medicine (MDhc)

The title of Honorary Doctor of Medicine has been awarded to Tak W Mak, Professor, University of Toronto and Director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Tak W. Mak. Foto: University Health Network Communication OfficeTak W. Mak has made fundamental discoveries in immunology as well as cancer research. In 1984 he discovered the T cell receptor, one of the most important discoveries in immunology in modern times. He was also one of the pioneers of genetically modified mice or "knockout mice", which have made a significant contribution to the development of immunological and biological tumour research all over the world. Tak Mak has helped significantly strengthen Karolinska Institutet's research portfolio with his unparalleled generosity by sharing his model systems.