The Jahre Award 2015 goes to Ludvig M. Sollid

Professor Ludvig M. Sollid and Professor Rikard Holmedahl of the Karolinska Institutet have been awarded the Jahre Award for 2015. Sollid received the award for his research that identified the molecular and actual cause of coeliac disease.

Ludvig Sollid

Professor Ludvig M. Sollid. Photo: UiO

Sollid’s breakthrough in coeliac disease research offers hope for better diagnostic tests and treatment methods. The findings have provided insight into other hereditary autoimmune diseases.

The research has given Sollid’s research group the status as one of UiO’s five world-leading research communities.

The prize of NOK 1 million will be awarded by the Rector at the University’s ceremonial hall, the Aula, on Thursday 15 October at 6 pm, and the award winners will hold a guest lecture before the ceremony.

Professor Ludvig Sollid and his colleagues are trying to establish what happens when the body's defence against infection – the immune system – causes damage to the body.

Such failure of immune responses causes autoimmune diseases; a group of diseases that includes various common conditions, such as arthritis, coeliac disease and multiple sclerosis.

‘We are particularly interested in understanding coeliac disease that is caused by an immune response to gluten proteins in grains. We have found a genetic factor that predisposes to the disease, and have uncovered the mechanisms of how this genetic factor functions. The insight we have gained might also have implications for understanding other immune diseases,’ says Sollid.

Thanks to colleagues and supervisors

Ludvig M. Sollid

  • Professor at the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine.

  • Head of the Centre for Immune Regulation (CIR), which is a Norwegian Centre of Excellence (SFF) in a partnership with Oslo University Hospital.

  • In the spring, his research group was designated as one of five world-leading research communities at UiO.

  • Key researcher in UiO’s major focus on life sciences

Sollid explains that this is the result of the efforts of a wide range of researchers over many years.

‘I am of course very happy and proud, but also humbled. This is not just my work. The Jahre Award is a great recognition of the work we have done, and high praise for the immunology community in Oslo,’ he adds.

Sollid mentions the supervisors he had when he started his research as a student, Erik Thorsby and Per Brandtzæg.

‘They have obviously been important to me. I would also like to mention all of the postgraduate students and postdoctoral candidates who have thought clever thoughts, and who have helped to get results. Knut Lundin in particular has been a great help. We have worked together ever since we took our doctorates together in the late 1980s.’

Sollid also thanks all of the patients who have donated blood and intestinal samples for research over the years.

‘And of course, my family - particularly my father, who was a quaternary geologist. Through his work he instilled in me that research is exciting,’ concludes Sollid.

Door opener

Bilde av dekan Frode Vartdal, Det medisinske fakultet, UiO
Dean Frode Vartdal. Photo: UiO

Dean Frode Vartdal. Photo: UiO

In his comments, Dean Frode Vartdal says that Sollid is undoubtedly the world's leading researcher in coeliac disease.

He has helped to raise awareness internationally of the faculty's research and opened doors for our researchers at many of the world's most prestigious universities.

‘The Jahre Award to Sollid also rewards what should be important goals for all research at the faculty: focused, long-term and painstaking hard work aimed at achieving ambitious goals. Sollid is therefore an important role model for our researchers,’ concludes Vartdal.

Research Dean at the Faculty, Hilde Irene Nebb adds:

‘The award is well deserved. We at the faculty are proud of him. Professor Ludvig Sollid is a role model for other researchers and represents high-quality research. He is an extremely skilled researcher. He is focused and a good leader.’

Ivar P. Gladhaug, head of the Institute of Clinical Medicine says:

‘It is a great honour for us at the Institute of Clinical Medicine for one of our researchers to receive the Anders Jahre Award. Ludvig Sollid is one of our top researchers, and has been so for a long time. Sollid was also awarded the Jahre Award for young researchers in 1998, and the fact that he now has also received the main award shows what an eminent researcher he is.’

We in Klinmed would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations on this great recognition.

Research on arthritis

Bilde av professor Rickard Holmdahl, KI
Professor Rikard Holmdahl. Photo: Karolinska Institutet

Professor Rikard Holmdahl. Photo: Karolinska Institutet

Holmdahl is receiving the award for his research on rheumatoid arthritis. He has shown how the immune system in arthritis sufferers is activated to attack the body's own proteins, including modified versions of the connective tissue protein collagen.

He has also made an important contribution to our understanding of the genetics of autoimmune diseases.

Young researchers

The award for young researchers went to Kaisa Haglund, CCB and Oslo University Hospital, and Professor Pernilla Lagergren, Karolinska Institutet.

Haglund received the award for her research on the regulation of cell division and cancer development, while Lagergren has studied the factors that affect survival and quality of life after cancer surgery.

Anders Jahre's awards for medicine reward excellence in basal and clinical medicine research. The awards are presented by UiO, and are among the most prestigious awards in medicine in the Nordic region.

The awards were presented at UiO’s ceremonial hall, the Aula, on 15 October. Sollid received the award for young researchers in 1998.

By Thomas Olafsen
Published June 20, 2016 1:17 PM - Last modified Mar. 19, 2019 1:42 PM