In the Spotlight: Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet, situated in Stockholm, Sweden, is a one-faculty university dedicated solely to the medical and health sciences, with a reputation for top quality research and innovation. It is one of the world’s leading medical universities – consistently ranking in the top 50 universities globally, and the top 5 medical universities in Europe. In addition, it is the largest center for medical training and research in Sweden, accounting for over 40 per cent of Swedish medical academic research. Its mission is to contribute to the improvement of human health through research and education.
Research at Karolinska Institutet is conducted in 22 departments, most of which are situated or adjacent to Stockholm's teaching hospitals. This creates ample opportunities for translational research in which new experimental results are rapidly implemented for patient benefit, and where clinical observations provide a basis for new research ideas. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet release over 5000 publications a year in international scientific journals. Focus research areas at the university include: Cancer, Circulation and Respiration, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Infection, Inflammation and Immunology, Neuroscience,
Public Health Sciences and International Health, Reproduction, Growth and Development, and Tissue and Motion. Find out more here.
Since 1901, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine – and this is situated and announced within the university walls, every year. This closeness to the Nobel Assembly has given Karolinska Institutet an invaluable contact network and a unique survey of medical research results worldwide.
Every December, current and previous Nobel laureates hold open lectures on campus for students to attend. Throughout the year, other prominent researchers and profiles in the medical world also frequent Karolinska Institutet, holding open lectures for students, both from within the university and from other well renowned institutions across the world. In 2012 so far, these have included: Torsten N. Wiesel Professor Dr. Cori Bergmann from Rockefeller University and Professor Masashi Yanagisawa from University of Texas and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The university incorporates an interactive teaching model that emphasizes informal and close contact with teachers and facilitates the active participation of students. The educators at Karolinska Institutet divide their time between teaching and conducting research and/or clinical work, keeping them in tune with ongoing developments in their respective fields. There are international career opportunities for graduates, with close links to the public and private sectors throughout the time of study, as well as opportunities for further PhD studies.
The study and research environment at Karolinska Institutet is international. The university has many well established collaborations and partnerships with other leading universities on all continents. There are also extensive exchange programmes in place for students and researchers. The university also offers several master’s programmes and freestanding courses taught entirely in English. A considerable proportion of staff and students originate from other countries than Sweden.
"Being one of those big names and home to the Nobel Prize definitely put Karolinska Institutet among my first choices. Karolinska Insitutet is connected with the rest of the scientific community on both sides of the globe, so I knew it would open doors for me."
-Haythem Ismail, Master of Biomedicine
Karolinska Institutet in Numbers (2011)
- Departments: 22
- Employees: 3944
- Research units: 597
- Senior researchers: 1509
- Professors: 331
- Doctoral/PhD students: 2076
- Undergraduate and master students (full time): 5524
Find out more about Karolinska Institutet.
Stockholm and Sweden
Sweden is one of the safest countries in the world, known for its innovation, focus on equality and a well organized public health system (among many things). Nearly 90% of the general population speaks English, and the climate is, despite the rumours, quite mild in most parts of the country, with four distinct seasons, making it a comfortable place to visit. Find out more at Sweden.se – who also have a Twitter account, manned by a different Swede each week of 2012, showing that there is more to Sweden these days than blondes, ABBA and IKEA.
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a child of many names, including Venice of the North and the capital of Scandinavia. It offers extensive public transport and history, culture, and business, surrounded by plenty of green space and blue water. It is also the largest university city in the Nordic countries and home of 80,000 students of which 5,000 are international students.
There are many things to see and do, both in the city of Stockholm and in the surrounding archipelago and natural green spaces. You will find information on Stockholm's more than 100 museums and many other activities and points of interest listed on the Stockholm Visitors' Board website.
Innovation Office at Karolinska Institutet
The Innovation Office at Karolinska Institutet can help an aspiring entrepreneur on their journey from promising idea to dynamic innovation. They arrange local inspirational activities and offer advisory services to those who are curious but not fully fledged yet. Clients can also make use of their contact network to further their business idea along. Affiliation to Karolinska Institutet is not mandatory, and whether they have a newly hatched idea or have spent years researching a topic – anyone who is interested in innovation can make use of their services. Find out more about Karolinska Institutet’s Innovation Office.
Euroscholar Projects at Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet offers projects within many of our strong research areas. Accepted students will take part in the daily work of a research group at Karolinska Institutet which includes practical lab work, journal clubs, going to seminars and literature studies. For more information about the research at Karolinska Institutet, please see Research Areas at KI and the Euroscholars project database.
Midstay Program Report Spring 2012
We traveled to Stockholm, Sweden for the Spring 2012 midstay program hosted by the Karolinska Institutet (KI). After our initial arrival at the Arlanda airport in Stockholm, we traveled by an express train to the Stockholm central station where we met our guide for the trip, Malin Ahlén. During our stay we learned about the research done at the Karolinska Institutet, as well as information about the beautiful city of Stockholm itself.
Our experience began when we arrived in Stockholm on March 22nd. We traveled straight from the central station to the KI campus and there met our guide for the next 2 days, Dr. Jonas Sundbäck. Dr. Sundbäck was a very helpful and gracious host throughout our visit to the Institutet, and we felt honored that he took time out of his schedule to be able to guide us around the campus and answer the many questions we posed both about the university and Sweden in general. At KI, our stay began by learning about the history of the Nobel Prize from a former member of the Nobel Prize committee, Professor Klas Kärre. We learned that a Nobel Committee consisting of professors from the Karolinska Institutet awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. It was very interesting hearing about how the Nobel Prize is interpreted and subsequently awarded from the perspective of a person who had a say in who was to be chosen.
After the Nobel Prize talk, we were taken to the hotel we were staying in to drop off our luggage, and then were taken out to a wonderful dinner with our guides for the program, where we got to talk to our fellow EuroScholars to get to know everyone a bit better. Everyone had stories about challenges and achievements they faced throughout the course of the program and it was nice to discuss those with people going through the same thing as you.
The next morning we began with each EuroScholar briefly presenting their research, with people studying everything from literature to psychology to neuroscience. With such a wide variety of subjects, we participated in a workshop comparing qualitative and quantitative research methods in order to gain an understanding of each of the opposite approaches. This workshop was followed up by lectures on global health and a discussion of the research occurring at KI. We learned that KI is a medical university with students majoring primarily in biomedicine and bioentrepeneurship. Following the lectures and workshops, local university students took us out for dinner at a traditional Swedish restaurant (though unfortunately no Swedish meatballs) with ice cream afterwards. We had a lot of fun getting to know the local students and how they had fun in Stockholm.
Saturday found us sightseeing in a part of Stockholm called the ‘Old Town,’ where our last scheduled activity was a tour of the Nobel museum. Afterwards, we could follow our own pursuits for the rest of the weekend if we chose. Overall, everyone in our group agreed that it was a great experience, and we all hope to be able to see Stockholm again!
Anne Patterson, Makoto Miller-Tsutsui, Caroline Johnson, Yelena Finegold, Anna Stusser, David Saenz, Cat Lenis, and Nate Wright
From our Alumni
Cody Pennington, University of Zurich, Pennsylvania State University
Participating in the EuroScholars program was by far one of the most engaging, interactive, and educational experiences of my life. My specific project consisted of doing research to determine correlations between motivational factors and visual acuity. I worked alongside graduate students, doctoral candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and even the president of the neuropsychology department at the University of Geneva. Even though I am an undergraduate student, I was conducting research and running laboratory sessions like an actual professional. Granted, there were a lot of areas that I was not familiar with beforehand but I quickly learned new skills as well as a great deal about the field of neuroscience. At the same time I also took French courses and managed to gain a strong grasp of the language, especially since I had no experience with the language whatsoever. Every day was a fantastic learning experience.
Before arriving in Geneva for my program, I coordinated with the EuroScholars advisers from the University of Zurich as well as the United States liaison. The U.S. liaison helped me organize and arrange all of the necessary documents and paperwork required to partake in the EuroScholars program and secure residence in Geneva. Upon arrival in Europe, the phenomenal EuroScholars staff at the University of Zurich took care of every other important task. This included coordination with my project supervisor and adviser as well as preparation for the MidStay program. Their help and assistance proved to be invaluable during my four month stay.
The MidStay program took place during Thanksgiving weekend in Zurich. All students participating in the EuroScholars program came from other countries to convene at the University of Zurich to share our various personal and research experiences. The advisers at the University of Zurich arranged an orientation, “meet and greet” dinner, city tour, and dinner with the EuroScholars board of trustees. They also setup research presentation sessions with university professors in which we had the opportunity to present our individual programs, research goals and findings, and a question and answer segment. This was not only constructive but also very fun.
Since then, I have been continuing my undergraduate studies. However, I have improved my skills in the areas of ANOVA, matlab programming, laboratory design, and formal paper writing to name a few. Furthermore my time in the EuroScholars program exposed me to new languages, cultural traditions, amazing cities, and the opportunity to meet interesting people. The EuroScholars program has helped improve my scholastic career and enlighten my personal insights.