Four Uppsala researchers win awards from the Göran Gustafsson foundations

8 May 2019

The formal presentation of the Göran Gustafsson prizes to young researchers at Uppsala University and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) took place at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm on 3 May. The Göran Gustafsson Foundation for Research at Uppsala University and KTH awards a total of SEK 14 million to young researchers in engineering physics and medicine. The 2019 recipients include four Uppsala researchers.

The Gustafsson Award for Young Researchers, known as the “Large Gustafsson Award”, consists of a research grant totalling SEK 2.75 million over a three-year-period beginning in 2019.

In addition, each year the foundation awards a number of smaller prizes – the “Small Gustafsson Prize”. This prize consists of a single payment for research of SEK 750,000 beginning in 2019.

Two Uppsala researchers receive the Large Gustafsson Prize

Engineering physics:

  • Marina Freitag, assistant professor at the Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory, Physical Chemistry. Marina Freitag conducts research on new solar cell materials that can be easily and cost-effectively mass-produced. There are a handful of competing solar cell technologies that are easier to manufacture than silicon-based solar cells, but these require raw materials that are more expensive and less efficient than silicon. A new third generation, known as hybrid solar cells, that are based on inexpensive and available raw materials have the potential for much higher efficiency.


  • Jonathan Cedernaes, researcher at the Department of Neuroscience. Jonathan Cedernae’s research focuses on circadian rhythms and sleep in relation to human metabolism. Today a large proportion of the population does shift work, sleeps too little or sleeps at irregular times. Long-term disruption of circadian rhythms and sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, unfavourable weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Researchers hope to ultimately be able to find molecular targets to counteract negative effects of disturbed circadian rhythms, which can be used by those who need to carry out shift work, for example.

Two Uppsala researchers receive the Little Gustafsson Prize

Engineering physics:

  • Pablo Maldonado, researcher at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Pablo Maldonado’s research covers a wide range of issues in materials science and solid state physics, such as the theory for ultrafast magnetism, many-body atomic physics, superconductivity and topological systems.


  • Xingqi Chen, associate senior lecturer at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology. As a doctoral student and postdoctoral researcher, Xingqi Chen has focused on the development of single cell technology for medical research and has further developed the technology to understand cell heterogeneities. His team focuses research on using these newly developed single cell technologies to understand processes during cell development and the connection to human disease.


The Göran Gustafsson Foundation for Research at Uppsala University and KTH was established in 1986 through a donation by Göran Gustafsson. The main purpose of the foundation, which focuses on young researchers, is to promote basic research in engineering physics and medicine.