Kristian Pietras, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, has been awarded the Göran Gustafsson Prize in Medicine for "his breakthrough analysis of the cancer-associated microenvironment and its role in tumour development". In his research he has systematically studied which cell types tumours are constructed of and how these communicate with each other and with their surroundings.
Kristian Pietras, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, has been awarded the Göran Gustafsson Prize for "his breakthrough analysis of the cancer-associated microenvironment and its role in tumour development". Photo: Kennet Ruona
"It's great that the nomination comes from Lund University, which really feels like a fine recognition. That the prize was then decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences – which is the gold standard for Swedish science – feels extremely good. If they think you have done something good, it’s even more enjoyable, of course,” says Kristian Pietras.
What Kristian Pietras wants to focus on in his research in the future is to create a detailed map of exactly which subgroups of cells build up a tumour that supports or combats the cancer, with the aid of the latest sensitive analysis methods. Something that is important to know in developing drugs that knock out or preserve the right cells. The research subsidy is a welcome contribution to this:
"This unexpected research grant will enable us to start slightly more ‘daring’ projects. For one thing, it gives us an opportunity to think on a slightly larger scale – we can do what we have already planned a bit bigger and better. Secondly, we can perform projects with greater potential, but where the risk of failure is also greater,” Kristian Pietras concludes.
The prize is worth is SEK 5 million over three years, as well as a personal prize of SEK 250,000, and is awarded at the end of March.
A further four researchers in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry and molecular biology have been awarded the Göran Gustavsson Prize. The prize for physics goes to Anders Johansen at the Faculty of Science, Lund University, "for his groundbreaking research on planetary formation and development in the vicinity of young stars".