Published: 11-10-2023 12:04 | Updated: 11-10-2023 12:33

They are awarded the Silver Medal 2023

Illustration: Getty Images.

KI researchers Gunnar Nilsson and John Skår are awarded this year's silver medal. The medal is awarded to people who have made excellent efforts in support of KI's activities. The researchers will receive their medals at the ceremony for Diligence and Devotion in February 2024.

Committed to pedagogical development

Portrait of Gunnar Nilsson.
Gunnar Nilsson. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman.

Gunnar Nilsson, Professor of General Medicine at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), receives the Silver Medal for a versatile and successful career in medicine, education, and research, as well as for having played an important role in developing the collaboration between Region Stockholm and Karolinska Institutet.

Gunnar Nilsson has made major contributions to the development and management of higher education, through participation in a number of working groups and assignments.

Early on, he was involved in designing a radically new medical education that started in 2007 and was subsequently given the role of program director with responsibility for its implementation, while also serving as Deputy Head of Department and Head of Section at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS).

As Programme Director, he was responsible, in collaboration with Region Stockholm, for the development of placements at virtually all of the region's health centres. In 2013, he was awarded the KI Pedagogical Prize and has since been a member of the Pedagogical Academy.

Gunnar Nilsson then spent four years as Deputy Dean for Education, with special responsibility for international education, contract education, and coordination of the units for educational development.

After his assignment as Deputy Dean, his commitment to education continued, among other things through his role as Chair of the Docent Committee, which included a special responsibility to develop and introduce a new regulatory framework for docentships at KI.

Gunnar Nilsson has had a long commitment to collaboration with Region Stockholm, with the vision of primary care reaching its full potential in health care as well as research and teaching. In the early 2010s, he was head of the Centre for Family Medicine (CeFAM) – a collaboration between KI and the Stockholm County Healthcare Area (SLSO).

Driving force behind Hagastaden

Portrait of John Skår.
John Skår. Photo: Ulf Sirborn.

John Skår, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), has been awarded the Silver Medal for his extensive, innovative, and decisive contributions to KI in the utilisation of knowledge through a large number of collaborative initiatives – not least with regard to the initiative and work with what is now called Hagastaden.

John Skår came to KI in 1996 as Professor of Biomedical Innovation Science and to lead the new Centre for Medical Innovations (CMI). He came to play an important role in developing research and education in several new areas and thus contributed to KI's infrastructure.

He introduced new competencies and technologies, as well as initiated and implemented several national and international collaborative projects.

With significant financial support from the Teknikbro Foundation and the Knowledge Foundation, CMI initiated and implemented many innovative projects with societal components. These include the Stockholm Biocity project, which led to the creation of Hagastaden, as a central node for life science research and innovation.

John Skår and CMI built successful collaborations with companies and organisations. A prominent project was the Centre for Hearing and Communication Research (CHK), which addressed hearing health and communication and involved collaboration with the The Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing People (Hörselskadades Riksförbund).

In the areas of education and postgraduate education, John Skår was a driving force in several projects, including the establishment of new areas of research and education, such as bioinformatics, bioentrepreneurship, health informatics, biotechnology and the introduction of the subject of Medical Management.

The Medical Management Center (MMC) at LIME has since become a national knowledge and competence centre with great benefits for KI and society.

The Silver Medal

The medal can be awarded to a person who has made excellent efforts to support the activities of Karolinska Institutet’s mission – not only its education and research but also its outreach activities as well as its working environment/core values and implementation.

One or more medals are awarded in conjunction with the ceremony for Diligence and Devotion. The Silver Medal is primarily intended for internal recipients, yet it can also be awarded to external recipients.