Here we present a few of Uppsala University’s prominent researchers and the people behind the research. Research for a better world that raises important questions and contributes solutions to large societal problems.
Mapping people of the past by means of their bones
09 maj 2022
What is the best way to find out about a human being or animal that has been dead for perhaps several centuries? “Study the bones” is what Sabine Sten, professor of osteoarchaeology, would say. They can reveal an individual's age, body length, DNA, lifestyle, diseases, diet and location in the last years of life.
Ulrika Simonsson: Building mathematical bridges from drug labs to treatment
15 mars 2022
Not even frontline pharmacists have a full overview of the long and winding road from new substance to finished pill. If the medicine is also to accomplish its task in a sick body, an extra map is required. With digits and self-learning machines, Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics, shows the way to more effective drug development and treatments.
Passionate concern for child and adolescent health
01 mars 2022
Listen to the young: they are wise. For Anna Sarkadi, this advice and the reason for it are repeatedly confirmed in her research on the wellbeing of children and adolescents, and on how it can be improved. Through collaboration with maternity care, social services and child health centres, measures address families directly.
Paco Cardenas: Looking for the future of pharmacy among the planet's first animals
16 februari 2022
For thousands of years, man has explored the earth to find new tools for health care. When climate change suddenly threatens to eliminate entire ecosystems, hope is set for last unknown outpost of our planet.
Deciphering ancient runic messages
25 januari 2022
Henrik Williams’ speciality is deciphering runic inscriptions. He is the world’s only professor of runology, which may be the smallest academic subject in the world, but is now expanding at Uppsala University. Currently, he is attracting attention with a new book about the Rök Stone (Rökstenen), a famous runestone in Östergötland bearing a message from 9th-century Sweden.
“Climate change demands collaboration across borders”
10 december 2021
“As a researcher, I thrive when I can work in an environment that combines social sciences and the humanities with natural science. It opens the way for a broader mindset.” So says Magdalena Kuchler, a senior lecturer who is conducting research in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development programme at the Department of Earth Sciences. She strives to establish fruitful collaborations with other researchers from various research areas.
Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg unfazed by inconvenient truths
15 november 2021
Like heading a large research programme. That is how Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg describes her role in Sweden’s Corona Commission. As one of eight members, she has been investigating Sweden’s management of the pandemic – and has no hesitation in voicing criticism, as long as it is based on research.
Health effects of sleep deprivation
07 oktober 2021
“How have you been sleeping?” When doctors meet their patients, the question should be routine, says Jonathan Cedernaes, whose research concerns the impact of sleep on our health. Disrupted sleeping habits can lead to overweight, obesity, diabetes and a weakened immune system. They may also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mats Karlsson creates his own scientific arena
21 september 2021
Pioneer and portal figure are two attributes often used too lightly. Sometimes it's all the more difficult to avoid them. In 2001, Mats Karlsson was named the world's first Professor of Pharmacometrics. Twenty years and 400 scientific publications later, he has no plans to reduce his efficiency.
He wants to spread knowledge about vital diversity
09 september 2021
For Jacob Höglund, Professor of Animal Conservation Biology, there is no issue more important than the extinction of species and the fact that we are currently losing more species than are evolving. “As I see it, the sixth mass extinction is very most important issue facing humanity.”
How Linnaean learning spread far and wide
07 juni 2021
An inspiring middle-school teacher sparked Linda Andersson Burnett’s interest in history. Now a researcher in the history of science and ideas at Uppsala University, she is currently studying Carl Linnaeus and his influence, which extends far beyond Sweden’s borders.
His blue-green bacteria could produce biofuel in the future
22 april 2021
While Peter Lindblad has served in many academic roles over the years, it is to research that he always returns. At the Ångström Laboratory, his research group is developing fuels that could contribute to future energy solutions. “If you want to generate a lot of biomass, you should use a cyanobacteria culture,” says Peter Lindblad, professor of microbial chemistry.
Surveying diseases with new technology
02 mars 2021
COVID-19, cardiovascular disease, diabetes... Tove Fall’s speciality is dealing with large amounts of data in advanced genetics, and asking tricky questions that can amplify knowledge of the major diseases of our time and how they can be treated. It all began with veterinary training at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala.
The professor wanting to contribute to peace on Earth
25 januari 2021
Isak Svensson is, as he describes it, a product of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research. Since his undergraduate studies, he has stayed true to his path, and now he is a professor in the subject. His research helps us understand why mediation decreases during armed conflicts.
Per Artursson is seeking new scientific paths
09 december 2020
Standing on the shoulders of giants, we will allegedly discover the way forward, so if one would ever cross our path, it would be a mistake not to try the view. Per Artursson, Professor of Dosage Form Design and Giant of Pharmaceutical Sciences, works at Uppsala Biomedical Centre, and the perspectives offered are undeniably interesting.
Solar cell researcher and future Vice-Chancellor
20 november 2020
Anders Hagfeldt has spent a large part of his life researching the chemistry behind solar cells, for the past six years in Switzerland with researchers from around the world. He will soon be returning to Uppsala University, where he will be taking up the post of vice-chancellor in January 2021.
Prize-winning innovator focused on immunotherapy
09 november 2020
Over the past decade, more and more biopharmaceuticals have been developed for anti-cancer immunotherapy. Sara Mangsbo is actively contributing to their development with her research group, and has also started three companies. She was recently awarded the Uppsala University Innovation Prize, Hjärnäpplet, for her ability to combine research and entrepreneurship.
Gabriele Messori: understanding rapid climate change
06 oktober 2020
Heavy storms, extreme heatwaves or periods of unrelenting cold. Continued high emissions of greenhouse gases will bring about rapid climate change in which extreme weather events are increasingly common. Gabriele Messori is exploring how far these events can be predicted.
Björn Olsen: Our biggest enemy is forgetfulness
04 juni 2020
“The coronavirus is not the last act. At best, it is a dress rehearsal for the next pandemic. And when this storm blows over, we can hope that we will have a short respite to prepare before a new epidemic is upon us,” says Björn Olsen, a professor of infectious diseases now well-known throughout Sweden.
Ulrika Winblad: Health care debate characterised by simplified rhetoric
26 mars 2020
Access and diversity or playground for private providers? Opinions about the Swedish welfare model divide along political lines. But what are the facts? Ulrika Winblad, professor of health and medical care research, has studied the reforms and their consequences for 20 years. Personally, she is more uncertain than ever about what is the right path to take.
David Sumpter creates structure in apparent randomness
24 februari 2020
Can algorithms really be exciting? Sure, if they’re packaged properly. When David Sumpter, professor of applied mathematics, gave a lecture at Oxford Mathematics, he drew the largest ever audience after Stephen Hawking. This summer, he hopes to redeem Hammarby supporters at Tele2 Arena.
Anna Jonsson Cornell: Legal education entails a social responsibility
13 januari 2020
At a time when illiberal forces are challenging the rule of law and more and more people have no one to safeguard their individual freedoms and rights, the role of law as a standard-bearer of democratic values is more relevant than ever. At the Human Rights Clinic, Anna Jonsson Cornell, a professor of comparative constitutional law, gives Uppsala’s law students the knowledge they need to meet the challenges facing society.
Thomas Schön: Now machines are learning to contribute to a better world
21 november 2019
Six years have passed since Thomas Schön arrived in Uppsala with two doctoral students and a professorship of automatic control. Now he is a leading force in bringing artificial intelligence into our everyday lives, though we aren’t likely to meet a Terminator outside of Hollywood.
Kerstin Lindblad-Toh: Explorer in genetics
21 augusti 2019
Sometimes all it takes is a simple question from a Swedish postdoctoral researcher in exile in the U.S. Twenty years later Kerstin Lindblad-Toh has directed the mapping of the genetic makeup of 230 mammal. Now she is preparing to bring perhaps the greatest scientific revolution of our time – understanding the human genome – all the way into health care.
Anders Backlund: With the whole world as his workplace
20 juni 2019
“I’m driven by curiosity about how things are interconnected,” reflects Anders Backlund, professor of pharmacognosy. When he is not navigating through the eight dimensions of chemical space, Backlund is trying to define the emphasis of Uppsala University’s role in global society.
Kristina Edström: Charged for the future
25 maj 2019
The vehicles of the future are fossil-free and run on batteries – but there are many challenges left to solve. Kristina Edström, Professor at the Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory, is playing a key role now that the European Commission is investing big in battery development.
Per Alström: He has discovered seven new bird species
07 maj 2019
Peak season will soon begin for bird researcher Per Alström, who has discovered seven new bird species. He spends much of his time in nature in countries such as China, India and Vietnam, where he looks for well-known and unknown birds, and spends as a lot of time listening to their songs.
Mattias Lundberg: With an ear for music and an eye for the historical
16 april 2019
In “Swedish Music History”, a radio programme with 106 episodes, Professor of Musicology Mattias Lundberg has brought to life Swedish music history, from the first recordings until 2018, for a general audience.
Tomas Edvinsson: Shedding light on the energy capacity of materials
04 mars 2019
Tomas Edvinsson makes measurements of, among others, vibration energies in materials to understand and improve processes in new generations of solar cells and photocatalytic materials.
Birgitta Essén: “We mustn’t treat Muslim women as collective victims”
05 februari 2019
If Swedish care services are to provide the correct treatment for Muslim women, we must accept them as rational individuals and listen to their own problem descriptions rather than educate them in our gender-equality ideals, says Birgitta Essén, Professor of International Maternal & Reproductive Health.
Ulf Holm: Eyeing multinationals
15 januari 2019
How is a large multinational corporation, with subsidiaries, customers and suppliers all over the world, managed? How can the headquarters have knowledge of all important business relationships around the world? These questions are a focus for Ulf Holm, Professor of International Business. At Uppsala University’s Department of Business Studies, he heads the International Business research group.
Håkan Engqvist: Biomaterials the prize-winning innovator’s niche
17 december 2018
Håkan Engqvist, Professor of Applied Materials Science, has been involved in starting several companies and has more than 50 patents. His special area of interest is ceramic materials, which can be used for many applications in the human body.
Paulina Nowicka: Communication is key in dietary treatments
15 november 2018
Paulina Nowicka is a new Professor of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics, especially Communication of Dietetics, at the Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics. Her research focuses primarily on how to find treatments that work for children with obesity.
Åsa Cajander: “We need to digitise carefully”
17 september 2018
What is the best way to introduce digital technology in society and in our lives? According to Åsa Cajander, we need to devote more time and money in the development and introduction phases of digitising so that it doesn’t lead to new problems. “I want to make sure that the work people do continues to be good for them even when it is digitised, and I want to lend a hand with methods to ensure that this occurs.”
Annelie Carlsbecker: “Plants must be prepared for just about anything”
23 juli 2018
When it comes to growth and flexibility, the plant kingdom exceeds us humans by far. Annelie Carlsbecker keeps finding new signs of the intricate interplay and adaptability of plants. “The fascinating part is that not only do plant cells have the ability to exchange information, they also know what information they need to share in order to develop properly. And how do they know that?”
Christer Betsholtz: Leading blood-vessel researcher’s discovery redraws the map
14 juni 2018
It did not take Christer Betsholtz long to stun the research community the first time. Almost four decades later, his work is still moving the boundaries of vascular biology. But a reputation as a leading figure can have its drawbacks.
Li Bennich-Björkman: Academic freedom fighter
22 maj 2018
Li Bennich-Björkman, Skyttean Professor of Eloquence and Government, is an untiring defender of academic freedom and long-term research projects. In her own research, she likes to make space for existential dimensions, most recently in a book about what it means to live a life in exile.
"I've never stopped speaking to rocks"
06 februari 2018
When as a young physics student Valentin Troll caught sight of a volcanic rock during a geology course, something strange happened. “The rock started to at first gently, then more and more clearly, answer my questions in a language I could suddenly understand.” Over 20 years later, the volcanologist still finds himself captivated by the stories of rocks.
Dag Blanck: “Important to promote academic knowledge about the United States”
13 december 2017
Dag Blanck has been interviewed by journalists thousands of times to comment on what is happening in the United States. As an historian, he began studying the migration from Sweden to America. He is now Director of the Swedish Institute for North American Studies (SINAS) at Uppsala University.
Lisa Ekselius: Inside the mind of a psychiatrist
20 november 2017
From the outskirts of Ulleråker to the entry of Uppsala University Hospital: psychiatry in Uppsala has taken a fascinating journey, and in October, Professor Lisa Ekselius received the 2017 Rudbeck Award for her significant contributions along the way.