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LiU scholar receives prestigious Göran Gustafsson Prize

Stefan Thor, professor of developmental biology at Linköping University, recently received one of the most prestigious national awards available to Swedish scholars—the Göran Gustafsson Prize.

It carries with it, four and a half million Swedish kronor. This is the third time in four years that this prestigious award was bestowed on an LiU researcher.

The Göran Gustafsson Prize, like the Nobel Prize, recognizes achievements in five scientific fields: molecular biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and medicine. Stefan Thor, whose research area is the structure and regulation of neural systems, was awarded the molecular biology prize. While a main share of the sum is earmarked for research, 100 000 kronor may be utilized as the prizewinner wishes.

The judges' citation in translation is: For his elegant studies of the fruit fly and its development, studies that are innovative, well-focused, and which have garnered considerable interest in the scientific community.

"It is extremely gratifying, a welcomed appreciation of the work being conducted by our research team, not least because the judges thereby encourage basic research. There is a current trend, both in Europe and in the United States, to support mainly applied research," says Stefan Thor.

Professor Thor, aged 43, grew up in the northern Swedish province of Jämtland. After earning his doctorate at Umeå University, he was an active researcher for ten years in the United States. Stefan Thor joined the LiU faculty in 2004.

The Göran Gustafsson Foundation for Scientific and Medicine Research was established in 1989 through a donation from Göran Gustafsson who, after an austere childhood, made his fortune in real estate. The prize winners are named by the Royal Academy of Science (KVA) in Stockholm.

The list of former recipients includes four other LiU scientists: Bertil Andersson (chemistry 1991), Olle Inganäs (physics 1997), Magnus Berggren (chemistry 2005) and Igor Abrikosov (physics 2007).


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Last updated: 2009-06-03