Ulf Landegren awarded for his entrepreneurship
‘Hjärnäpplet’, Uppsala University’s award for successful knowledge transfer, is being given to Professor Ulf Landegren for his entrepreneurial work in the field of molecular analyses in medicine and biology.
The prestigious award ‘Hjärnäpplet’ (directly translated: the Brain Apple) is awarded to researchers or research-level students for outstanding transfer of knowledge academia to a company or other organization, resulting in an innovation. This may have taken place either in a new company or in an existing organisation.
‘It’s important to recognize good examples of interaction between basic research and its useful applications. In his acclaimed research, innovative entrepreneurship, and broad commitment, Ulf Landegren has been a leader in the further advancement of the field of biotechnological tools, where Uppsala enjoys such a strong position,’ says Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Malmberg, who chairs the award committee.
Ulf Landegren is a professor of molecular tools at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and also the scientific director of Scilifelab
at Uppsala University. He is one of the key figures behind the so-called Padlock method for multiplication of DNA sequences, which today has wide applications in research and clinical diagnosis. He also launched proximity ligation, an ultra-sensitive tool for detecting proteins in solutions or on a cell surface.
Ulf Landegren has been a driving force behind several successful commercialisations in both the US and Sweden. He established the Olink company in 2004 in collaboration with Mats Nilsson. Today the company has well-established sales throughout the world and some 30 employees in Uppsala. Their mutual doctoral candidates, in turn, have developed the companies Halo Genomics and Q-linea with a further 20–30 combined employees.
The award consists of a statuette, a diploma, and a stipend of SEK 50,000, which will be conferred at the inauguration ceremony for professors on 15 November.
The laureate is named by the Vice-Chancellor based on proposals from a committee consisting of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (chair), the vice-rectors of the three disciplinary domains, the director-general of VINNOVA, and the executive director of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA. For the first five years the prize was awarded by the Ångström Academy at UU Innovation to researchers working at Ångström Laboratory, But as of this year it will be a pan-University award, conferred every other year to a person in the field of science and technology, and alternate years to someone from the other disciplinary domains.