New Oscar prize-winners designated

30 November 2018

Uppsala University’s Oscar Prize for young researchers in 2018 has been awarded to Weronica Ek at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and Ylva Söderfeldt at the Department of History of Science and Ideas.

The Oscar Prize is awarded every year to young researchers at Uppsala University “whose scholarly writing is the most deserving and offers the greatest promise of continued scholarly authorship at the University”. The prize consists of the annual yield from King Oscar II’s anniversary donation and can be shared by two equally deserving researchers. The first Oscar Prize was awarded in 1879.

The recipients are appointed by the University Board, based on the recommendation of a committee consisting of faculty deans. The prize is presented at the winter conferment ceremony in January.

This year the Oscar Prize goes to Doctor of Agronomy Weronica Ek at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and Doctor of Philosophy Ylva Söderfeldt at the Department of History of Science and Ideas.


Weronica Ek defended her doctoral thesis on disease-causing genes in chickens at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 2011. After receiving her doctorate, Ek worked at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia on identifying genes related to the risk of developing cancer of the oesophagus, which resulted in several publications. She subsequently has continued her postdoctoral research, first at Karolinska Institutet and then as a researcher at Uppsala University, focusing on how environment and genetics affect the development of immune disorders such as asthma and allergies. She has done this using very extensive documentation. The UK Biobank, for example, includes more than 500,000 participants. Ek has established successful collaborations both internationally and nationally.

Ylva Söderfeldt defended her doctoral thesis analysing the emergence of the German deaf-mute movement of 1848–1914 at the University of Stuttgart in 2011. She has held positions as a postdoctoral researcher at Aachen University Hospital and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She currently is an associate senior lecturer at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, University of Uppsala. After defending her thesis, Söderfeldt’s successful authorship on the history of science specialises on disability studies. This has included analysing the dynamics between the development of medical science and the emergence of interest groups related to changes in the cultural and social context. Ylva Söderfeldt is also an editor-in-chief of the blog Public Disability History.


Find out more:

The Oscar Prize

Subscribe to the Uppsala University newsletter

Last modified: 2022-12-22