Bengt Nordén
Chairman, Founder of Molecular Frontiers | Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Bengt Nordén is founder of Molecular Frontiers,and holds the position as Chairman.

When appointed professor of Physical Chemistry of Chalmers Bengt Nordén was for many years among the youngest Chair Professors in Sweden and had ample opportunities to build up an institution engaging young people that shared his broad interests, ranging from spectroscopy, photophysics and quantum chemistry, to molecular biology, biotechnology and medicine. He is harvesting the fruits of this interdisciplinary onset in various forms: serendipitous breakthroughs and a unique physical-chemical school at Chalmers with a world-renowned spectroscopic profile, to mention two. Being a generalist by virtue of both curiosity and training has been helpful when he has been in charge of major awarding systems, including the Nobel Prize. As a tracker of ground-breaking achievements he also in this role received continuous inspiration to new research directions.

Sture Forsén
Lund University, Sweden

Magdalena Eriksson
Director, Molecular Frontiers Ghana

Dr. Eriksson is professor of biochemistry at School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.  She earned her Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1988.  Since 2003 she holds a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Karin Markides
President, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Karin Markides is President and CEO of Chalmers University of Technology since August 2006. She has previously taught and conducted research at Stockholm University, Brigham Young University and Uppsala University. As part of her broad international experience, she held a guest professorship at Stanford University in the US. She tutored more than 30 PhD students and published over 250 scientific articles. As of 1999 and 1992 respectively, she is a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Between, April 2004 and August 2006, Karin Markides held the position of Deputy Director General at Vinnova, a state agency that finances research and innovation for sustainable development. She also has been board member of several high tech start-up companies in the US and the Swedish Research Council Committee for Research Infrastructure as well as acted as a board member of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. During 2007 to 2009 Karin Markides was a member of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the European Chemical Industry. She was the only representative from the academia.

Since 2009 Karin Markides holds the chair of CESAER – The Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research – a non-profit-making international association of the leading European Universities of Technology, Engineering Colleges and Schools, cooperating on policy issues.

Bertil Andersson
President, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Professor Bertil Andersson is a plant biochemist of international reputation and is the author of over 300 papers in photosynthesis research, biological membranes and light stress in plants.

He was educated at Umeå and Lund Universities in Sweden. He started his research career at Lund University, after which he became a Professor of Biochemistry at Stockholm University, Sweden, in 1986. From 1996 to 1999, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences at Stockholm University. In 1999, he became the Rector (President) of Linköping University, Sweden, where he served until the end of 2003. From 2004 to 2007, he led the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg, France, as its Chief Executive.

From April 2007 to June 2011, as Provost of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, he was instrumental in helping to redefine education and research at NTU through championing the growth of high-impact science and engineering, and making the university the choice of top international young scientists.

In domains such as sustainability, healthcare, new media and innovation, he spearheaded institutional changes leading to bold new programmes as well as large increases in funding support. A Visiting Professor and Fellow of Imperial College London, Professor Andersson is the key driver of Singapore’s new medical school jointly established by NTU and Imperial College London. 

Having strengthened NTU’s reputation as one of the fastest-growing research-intensive universities in the world, Professor Andersson was appointed to take the helm of the University on 1 July 2011. NTU is today one of the fastest-rising universities in the world.

Professor Andersson has had a longstanding association with the Nobel Foundation. From 1989 to 1997, he was a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry (Chair in 1997), later becoming a member of the Nobel Foundation (2000 to 2006). He was, from 2006 to 2010, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nobel Foundation.

He holds honorary doctorates from several universities – the latest being from University of Edinburgh, Hanyang University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Professor Andersson has served on the boards of several Swedish and international foundations and learned societies, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organisation, the Australian Academy of Science, Academia Europaea, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Professor Andersson is a research adviser to the Swedish government and was, between 2004 and 2009, the Vice President of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) of the European Commission in Brussels. He has also been an adviser to business activities in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sector.

In Singapore, he serves on the Governing Board of the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering, and is a Board member of Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority and A*STAR Singapore, the government agency in charge of national scientific research and development. He was previously a member of the Singapore National Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, set up by former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan in 2006 to advise the Singapore government on its R&D strategy.

In November 2010, Professor Andersson received the Wilhelm Exner Medal in Vienna, Austria, joining an illustrious list of laureates that includes Nobel Prize winners.

Erik Thulstrup
Roskilde University, Denmark

Shuguang Zhang
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Shuguang Zhang is the Associate Director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and was a recipient of Regent Fellowship and a Graduate Mentor Fellowship at UCSB.  He was a past American Cancer Society Fellow at MIT.  He discovered a self-assembling peptide system while working in molecular and structural biology with Alexander Rich at MIT.  This serendipitous discovery was selected to be one of the fifteen research achievements over last quart century at MIT.  He pursues actively on the various self-assembling peptide systems to develop a new class of biological materials including peptide matrix scaffold for tissue engineering, biological surface engineering for cell pattern formation, molecular switch, biological operating systems and surfactant peptide nanotubes.  He also works on problems to gain understanding of a class of protein conformational diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the prion diseases (mad cow disease).  He holds three US patents and additional seven pending patents on the self-assembling peptide systems.

He is a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.  He is member of AAAS, American Society of Biochemistry and molecular Biology, the Human Genome Organization Americas, the Protein Society, New York Academy of Sciences, The International Society for the Study of Origin of Life, and the honorary society of Sigma Xi. 

Brenda Herschbach Jarrell
Choate Hall & Stewart, LLP

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