Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson

Professor, president, Karolinska Institutet

My message

Academic research and education form the vanguard of the profoundly human need to acquire new knowledge and attain new goals.

The creation of academic excellence requires a number of coinciding factors, not least flexibility and the space to be creative.

Milestones in my life

Decisive experiences and events which shaped the path of my life

I was born in 1956 in Åtvidaberg, a village 200 km south of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

Earlier in life, I was a competitive skier, and began my professional career as a gym teacher. In the mid 1980s, my interest in health prompted me to study medicine and pursue postgraduate studies in diabetes at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm. In 1993 I became a specialist in clinical physiology and in 1998 professor of physiology specialising in integrative physiology.

Entrepreneurship, leadership

At Karolinska Institutet, we have a professional and academic environment that rewards creativity and the ability to think outside the box. We have also built up an organisation – Karolinska Institutet Innovation System – that seizes upon medical discoveries in order to start new enterprises and commercial means of spreading our message to the rest of society. Every day, my job brings me into contact with students, scientists, teachers and other colleagues who share a passionate dedication to improving human health.

My major achievements

In 2004 I was appointed president of Karolinska Institutet, one of Europe’s leading medical universities, and am also a member of Karolinska Institutet’s Nobel Assembly, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine every year.

Before being appointed president of Karolinska Institutet, I was Dean of Research at KI and secretary general of the Swedish Research Council’s Scientific Council for Medicine.

In addition to my work as president of a medical university, I sit on a number of boards and external commissions in the fields of medicine and health, both in Sweden and abroad, such as the Swedish government’s Globalisation Committee and the Delegation for Collaboration in Clinical Research, the EU’s Expert Group on Fundraising of Universities from Philanthropic Sources in Brussels, the Council of Science and Technology in Society Forum in Tokyo, and the Programme of Excellence at Copenhagen University. In January 2008, I was awarded HRH the King’s Medal of the 12th Order with the ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim.

I have published more than 130 scientific articles.



Address: Karolinska Institutet
Office of the President
Nobels väg 5
SE-171 77 Stockholm

Phone: + (46) 8 524 86764
Fax: + (46) 831 84 06

E-mail: rektor@ki.se


< back to overview
Logo: European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009
Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson

Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson