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University in the spotlight: Karolinska Institutet

Right now  at Karolinska Institutet – The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2013 was awarded last week jointly to, James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof "for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic". The award was explained in a press release from The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet:
“The 2013 Nobel Prize honours three scientists who have solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system. Each cell is a factory that produces and exports molecules. For instance, insulin is manufactured and released into the blood and chemical signals called neurotransmitters are sent from one nerve cell to another. These molecules are transported around the cell in small packages called vesicles. The three Nobel Laureates have discovered the molecular principles that govern how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell.

Through their discoveries, Rothman, Schekman and Südhof have revealed the exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo. Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes, and immunological disorders”.

Nobel buzz on campus
The announcement was an open event at Solna campus attended by students, researchers, teachers, the media and others. Read about how one of Karolinska Institutet’s student experienced it and see pictures in his live blog:

In December, students and researchers will have the opportunity to meet the Nobel laureates in open lectures that will be held on campus. These open lectures are popular and as they provide opportunities for students to ask questions and sometimes get a one-on-one encounter with the laureates.
There is also an ongoing Nobel mini-exhibition at the library of campus Huddinge. The exhibition is open from 9 October to 13 December and international students can get a guided tour by the library staff if they like.

An international university with a strong research profile
Karolinska Institutet is situated in Stockholm, Sweden and 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 centre 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.

Karolinska Institutet has about 700 research groups working in 22 departments ranging from basic sciences to clinical and public health sciences. The number of fulltime students is 5,900 participating in about 40 study programs and over 100 freestanding courses. There are over 2, 000 PhD students of which one third have an undergraduate/master’s degree from outside Sweden. The number of international students, including exchange students is about 450.

Why Sweden?
Sweden is one of the safest countries in the world, known for its innovation, focus on equality and a well organised public health system.  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.

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.

Find out more at: http://www.sweden.se/ And check out the twitter account showing that there is more to Sweden these days than blondes, ABBA and IKEA.

EuroScholars projects at Karolinska Institutet

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. If you are interested in finding out more about Karolinska Institutet research areas you can find more information here: Research Areas at KI and at EuroScholars - Search Project.

Q & A with a Karolinska Institutet Participant

Wesley Hebert - Norwich University

Photo by: Malin Ahlén

What do you think about Stockholm?

Wesley: I love Stockholm! It is the first time I am outside of the States and I feel more at home-culturally- in Stockholm than at home in Vermont. I love walking around everywhere and hanging out with people. My girlfriend back at home is an architect so she has given me a “have- to- visit-list” of old buildings to see in Stockholm, like at Skansen and in the Old Town.  Stockholm is really international and the archipelago is great, I went there when the weather was nice.

One of the highlights here in Stockholm has been going to a concert in a skate park in Fryshuset where I hung out with Swedish people all evening.

What do you think about Karolinska Institutet?

Wesley: Karolinska Institutet is a very prestigious university and at the moment it is very interesting at KI to hear people at the lab discussing the Nobel Prize (the Nobel Prize of Medicine or Physiology was announce on Monday the 7th of October).

How is your lab where you are doing your research project?

Wesley: Prof. Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg´s lab at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology is great. Prof. is a great supervisor and the research is interesting. At home I am in a very small lab and it is interesting here as we are over 20 people. I get a lot of hands-on experience working with stuff I would not work with at home and there is a lot of next-generation-equipment.

What about housing and the Swedish course?

Wesley: I live on a great floor in a student house called PAX in Solna where everyone is from different countries. I really love the housing I am in as we do dinners in the kitchen together to cut costs as food in Sweden is really expensive. Initially when I moved in my internet was not working but the caretaker sorted that out for me.

The introduction week in August was great as I made all my friends there. I also attended the intensive Swedish course which was a good basic course of Swedish and we had a fantastic teacher called Britt Rosén. It is quite difficult to practice Swedish though as people change to English immediately when they hear my accent. Every Friday my friends and I get together and get Disney or Pixar films in English or Swedish with Swedish subtitles that we watch together to practice Swedish.

Do you have any advice to future Euroscholars students coming to KI?

Wesley: My advice to anyone coming here would be to be flexible! Things change quickly and you have to be prepared but also open to new things. It is also important to be open to meeting new people and be social! Go to any group thing organized to meet other people- I did, and it made all the difference.

2013 EuroScholars University Rankings

According to the latest information from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-2014 and the Shanghai Ranking/ARWU 2013, the ranking of the European institutions participating in the EuroScholars Program are as follows: 

University  THE Shanghai/ARWU
Karolinska Institutet 36 44
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munchen 55 61
Leuven University 61 101-150
Leiden University 67 74
Utrecht University 74 52
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg 68 54
University of Amsterdam 83 101-150
University of Zurich 121 60
University of Helsinki 100 76
University of Geneva 124 69
Universitá degli Studi di Milano 276-300 151-200


In this Edition:

Karolinska Institutet Spotlight

Research Projects at Karolinska Institutet

Alumni Perspective

EuroScholars University Rankings


Photos of Karolinska Institutet

Photo by: Camilla Svensk

Photo by: Camilla Svensk

Photo by: Stefan Zimmerman

Photo by: Tina Westunger

Delegation of Elmhurst College visit Leiden University

2 October 2013, a delegation of Elmhurst College, IL, visited Leiden University.

The delegation consisted of Dr. Wally Lagerwey, Dr. Larry Carroll and Dr. Mary Kay Mulvany.
Accompanied by the Coordinator of the European Office of the EuroScholars Program (Ms. Usha Mohunlol), the delegation visited the Faculty of Social Sciences, where they had a meeting with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hommel .

Prof. Dr. Hommel also supervised one of the EuroScholars students in Spring 2013. During the meeting we had a short and inspiring tour at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

After the tour, we were warmly welcomed by Dr. Chris de Kruif, Dr. Marieke van Haaren and Ms. Julia van Proosdij of the Honours Academy Leiden

Here we were introduced to the tracks offered by the Honours Academy Leiden and discussed the differences and similarities between the Honors program offered at Elmhurst College and the Honours Academy at Leiden University.

Photos of the Visit:

Upcoming Conferences

November 2013:
NCHC (National Collegiate Honors Council): 6 November – 10 November 2013, New Orleans, Louisiana.


EuroScholars Site Visit

The EuroScholars site visit will take place March 22 – 30, 2014.
This site visit will feature three universities:University of Zurich, University of Geneva, and Utrecht University.

Participants will have the opportunity to visit these institutions, meet with researchers, visit unique cultural sites, and meet with EuroScholars students.

This site visit is designed specifically Directors of Honors and Undergraduate Research Programs.   

Please note that space will be limited to 20 participants and we anticipate a competitive application process.

If you have any questions, please contact Carrie Davis at cdavis@globalinksabroad.org