Fighting to find solutions to everyday health issues in Sweden
With over 6,000 students, 4,300 employees, and an annual budget of $6.8 million USD, Karolinska Institutet is one of the leading medical research and education centers in the world. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Karolinska Institutet contributes to more than 40 percent of the medical academic research and education conducted in Sweden. This institution was founded in 1810 by King Karl XIII as an “academy for the training of army surgeons” thus this organization has nearly 200 years of experience and history. However, since foundation, Karolinska Institutet has transcended from just an academy for army surgeons into one of the top 10 medical universities in the world.
The research performed at the Karolinska Institutet creates unimaginable medical breakthroughs and opportunities. This research is then translated into new diagnostics, treatments, and cares for patients throughout the world. With about 60 percent of research funding coming from external sources, continued medical breakthroughs which are aimed at finding new methods of treatment and care are possible. In addition to medical discoveries, the Karolinska Institutet produces close to 6,000 publications yearly involving a broad range of medical topics.
With a substantial history and impressive background, Karolinska Institutet has been able to produce immensely important medical techniques, products, and discoveries. Here is a list of just a few of the accomplishments Karolinska Institutet has achieved throughout the years:
- The sedimentation reaction: Robin Fåhraeus (1915) discovered the sedimentation reaction (ESR) which is still-used for diagnosing ongoing disease processes in the body.
- Fluoridation: Yngve Ericsson (1960s) demonstrated the importance of fluoridation for dental health.
- Puncture cytology: Sixten Franzén (1950s) developed the technique of puncture cytology, a method of extracting cells from body tissue (biopsy or cancer test) using a syringe or a fine needle (fine needle biopsy). The method is now widely used around the world.
- The pacemaker: Åke Senning (1958) surgically implanted the first pacemaker into a human being. The pacemaker had been built by engineer Rune Elmqvist. Åke Senning also made significant contributions to the development of the heart-lung machine.
- The gamma knife: Lars Leksell (1968) developed and launched the world’s first gamma knife, a stereotactic device first used in the treatment of brain tumors.
- Identification of noradrenalin: Ulf von Euler (1970) was made a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to the identification and analysis of noradrenalin, the most important neurotransmitter of the sympathetic nervous system.
One may wonder what drives the success of Karolinska Institutet to achieve such astounding medical research. According to Dr. Laura Plant at the Karolinska Institutet Grants Office, this organization thrives based on three things:
Excellence: High quality characterizes everything we do. We generate world leading results through our broad skills and expertise, perseverance and our ability to lift our sights.
Passion: We believe in science and the transfer of knowledge, and the ability of this passion to transform the world. Our curiosity enables us to constantly generate new potential for development. It stimulates our creativity in such a way as to improve human health.
Drive: We act with strength and authority. We have the power and ambition to implement our mandate and our visions, as well as the flexibility and courage to be innovative and fulfill the expectations of the world around us.
It is those characteristics, mixed with outside funding, and an amazing team of researchers that allow Karolinska Institutet to continue to uncover medical discoveries. By funds made possibly through the services of CAF America, Karolinska Institutet is able to continue fighting to find solutions to everyday health issues. The research and work for human health can be never-ending, but Karolinska Institutet is making a substantial impact in the medical world.