BioCity Turku Guest Seminar: Prof. Normark and Prof. Henriques-Normark

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May 12th at 13:15
on-site event
Presidentti auditorium, BioCity
coffee served at 13:00

Prof. Birgitta Henriques-Normark, Karolinska Institutet; Karolinska University Hospital
Prof. Staffan Normark, Karolinska Institutet
Pneumococcal infections – from basic science to clinical research
Host: Sirpa Jalkanen (

Birgitta Henriques-Normark is a clinician, professor, and head physician at the Karolinska University hospital with specialty in clinical bacteriology. Staffan Normark is a preclinical professor in medical microbiology. They conduct research in Sweden at the Department of Microbiology Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet and are both members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). Their research focuses on infectious diseases ranging from elucidating basic mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis to clinical and epidemiological studies aiming at finding novel strategies for diagnostics, treatment, and prevention of infection. Birgitta and Staffan elegantly combine basic findings of microbial virulence factors and host-microbial interactions with clinical and epidemiologic data to develop new diagnostics of infections, antimicrobials, and vaccines. They have identified new bacterial virulence factors that control bacterial attachment to host cells; defined how bacteria are internalized and killed and how they interact with the host immune system; discovered new interactions with host receptors that influence disease development; and used animal models to show that diseases can be reduced by blocking these interactions with antibodies or peptides. They have also identified new small-molecule substances with potential to be developed as antibiotics, and novel vaccine candidates against infection.

Prof. Normarks from the Karolinska Institutet will receive the Prix Aboensis recognition prize, granted for the first time by the Turku University Foundation. The new prize is awarded as a recognition for efficiently combining basic research and clinical science. The prize is given to a person or a pair of partners as a recognition for particularly distinguished contributions to the productive collaboration between basic research and clinical science. The work receiving the award must have been done mainly in Finland, the Baltic countries, or Scandinavia.