Swedish: Nobelförsamlingen vid Karolinska Institutet
13 March 1978
(as a formal body)
The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute is a body at Karolinska Institute which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It is headquartered in the Nobel Forum on the grounds of the Karolinska Institute campus. Originally the Nobel Assembly was not a formal body but rather the collective of all professors (holders of chairs, i.e. full professors) at Karolinska Institute. In 1977 the Nobel Assembly became a separate private organization hosted by Karolinska Institute. Until 1984 all Karolinska Institute professors belonged to the Assembly; from 1984 the membership is restricted to 50 Karolinska Institute professors.
The Karolinska Institute is a research-led medical university in Solna within the Stockholm urban area of Sweden. It covers areas such as biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, physiology and medical microbiology, among others. It is recognised as Sweden's best university and one of the largest, most prestigious medical universities in the world. It is the highest ranked in all Scandinavia. The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The assembly consists of fifty professors from various medical disciplines at the university. The current rector of Karolinska Institute is Ole Petter Ottersen, who took office in August 2017.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded yearly for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in his will in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. Nobel was interested in experimental physiology and wanted to establish a prize for scientific progress through laboratory discoveries. The Nobel Prize is presented at an annual ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death, along with a diploma and a certificate for the monetary award. The front side of the medal displays the same profile of Alfred Nobel depicted on the medals for Physics, Chemistry, and Literature. The reverse side is unique to this medal. The most recent Nobel prize was announced by Karolinska Institute on 1 October 2018, and has been awarded to American James P. Allison and Japanese Tasuku Honjo – for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.
Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.
The main work involved in collecting nominations and screening nominees is performed by the Nobel Committee at the Karolinska Institute, which has five members. The Nobel Committee, which is appointed by the Nobel Assembly, is only empowered to recommend laureates, while the final decision rests with the Nobel Assembly.
A Nobel Committee is a working body responsible for most of the work involved in selecting Nobel Prize laureates. There are five Nobel Committees, one for each Nobel Prize.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was first awarded in 1901. For most of the 20th century the laureates were decided upon by all professors of the Karolinska Institute, collectively sometimes also referred to as the Nobel Assembly. In 1977 the Nobel Assembly was established as a separate private organization. The reason for creating a special formal body for the decisions concerning the Nobel Prize was the fact that the Karolinska Institute is a state-run university, which in turn means that it is subject to various laws that apply to government agencies in Sweden and similar Swedish public sector organisations, such as freedom of information legislation. By moving the actual decision making to a private body at Karolinska Institute (but not part of it), it is possible to follow the regulations for the Nobel Prize set down by the Nobel Foundation, including keeping the confidentiality of all documents and proceedings for a minimum of 50 years. Also, the legal possibility of contesting the decisions in e.g. administrative courts is removed. Until 1984 all professors at Karolinska Institute were members of the Assembly, but in 1984 the membership was restricted to 50 Karolinska professors.
The government agencies in Sweden are state-controlled organizations who act independently to carry out the policies of the Government of Sweden. The ministries are relatively small and merely policy-making organizations, allowed to monitor the agencies and preparing decision and policy papers for the government as a collective body to decide upon.
The Nobel Foundation is a private institution founded on 29 June 1900 to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes. The Foundation is based on the last will of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.
An administrative court is a type of court specializing in administrative law, particularly disputes concerning the exercise of public power. Their role is to ascertain that official acts are consistent with the law. Such courts are considered separate from general courts.
The other two Nobel Prize-awarding bodies in Sweden, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Academy, are legally private organisations (although enjoying royal patronage), and have therefore not had to make any special arrangements to be able to follow the Nobel Foundation's regulations.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is one of the royal academies of Sweden. Founded on June 2, 1739, it is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization which takes special responsibility for ptomoting the natural sciences and mathematics and strengthen their influence in society, whilst endeavouring to promote the exchange of ideas between various disciplines.
The Swedish Academy, founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. It has 18 members, who are elected for life. The academy makes the annual decision on who will be the laureate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded in memory of the donor Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Prize in Physics is a yearly award given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for those who have made the most outstanding contributions for humankind in the field of physics. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others being the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Andrew Zachary Fire is an American biologist and professor of pathology and of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Craig C. Mello, for the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi). This research was conducted at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and published in 1998.
Sten Grillner is a Swedish neurophysiologist and distinguished professor at the Karolinska Institute's Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology in Stockholm where he is the director of the institute. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in the cellular bases of motor behaviour. His research is focused on understanding the cellular bases of motor behaviour; in particular, he has shown how neuronal circuits in the spine help control rhythmic movements, such as those needed for locomotion. He is current secretary general of International Brain Research Organization IBRO and President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS). For his work, in 2008 he was awarded the $1 million Kavli Prize for deciphering the basic mechanisms which govern the development and functioning of the networks of cells in the brain and spinal cord. This prize distinguish the recipient from the Nobel prizes in basic medical sciences.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. This award is administered by the Nobel Foundation, and awarded by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on proposal of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry which consists of five members elected by Academy. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.
The Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine is the Nobel Committee responsible for proposing laureates for the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine is appointed by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, a body of 50 members at Karolinska Institutet. It usually consists of Swedish professors of physiology or medical subjects active at Karolinska Institutet, although the Assembly in principle could appoint anyone to the Committee. Other than the five ordinary members, ten associated members are appointed each year, for that year only.
Rolf Zetterström was a Swedish pediatrician. He was Professor of Pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute fra 1962 until his retirement in 1986. Zetterström also had a central role in the institutions awarding the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Carl Hugo Lagercrantz is a Swedish pediatrician. He is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute and is a former member of both the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and the assembly's five-member working body, the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine. He has also formerly been President of the Swedish Pediatric Society and the European Society for Pediatric Research. Since 2005 he has been editor-in-chief of Acta Paediatrica. Lagercrantz was appointed professor of pediatrics at Karolinska Institute in 1989 and was director of the Neonatal Programme at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital at Karolinska University Hospital until 2004. He earned his PhD in 1971 at Karolinska Institute and has also written several books. He is a member of the Swedish noble Lagercrantz family, which was ennobled in the 17th century, and is a descendant of Swedish finance minister Gustaf Lagercrantz.