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Stefan Thor receives the Fernström Prize

Stefan Thor, professor in evolutionary biology, is the 2008 recipient of the Eric K Fernström Prize which honors a "young, highly promising and successful researcher" at the Faculty of Health Sciences. His workplace is the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine.

Stefan Thor, aged 43, hails from the northern county of Jämtland in Sweden. After receiving his doctoral degree from Umeå University, he conducted research for ten years in the United States. In 2004, Stefan Thor was appointed professor at LiU.

Using the fruit fly Drosophila as a system model, the Stefan Thor research team investigates formation of the neural system during embryonic development. The team established that development of a specific nerve cell is not controlled by a single unique gene, but by a combination of coordinated regulators.

The Fernström Prize judges' citation states:

”Stefan Thor has successfully concentrated on exploration of the basal mechanisms controlling the identity of specific neural cells during embryonic development. His studies have drawn the attention of the international scientific community and in part become guiding principles for methods to achieve neural stem cells."

"Professor Thor has presented distinguished work at several universities and research settings and recently received another prestigious award, the Göran Gustafsson Prize in molecular biology."

Eric K. Fernström, who donated funds for the prize bearing his name, was a Swedish shipowner and philanthropist. The donation funds a major Nordic Fernström Prize of one million Swedish kronor, and six subprizes awarded to the six medical faculties in Sweden.


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Last updated: 2009-06-03