INTERACTION. Madeleine Olsson Eriksson, Helen von Sydow and Oscar von Sydow have been appointed as this year’s honorary doctors at Sahlgrenska Academy.
“All three have made significant, committed efforts to further the work of the Academy and out students,” says Pro-Dean Eric Hanse.
Since its inception in 2005, more than 400 students have received scholarships through the projects that Helen von Sydow and Oscar von Sydow initiated and funded through Stiftelsen Fru Mary von Sydows, född Wijk, donationsfond and Stiftelsen Erik & Lily Philipsons minnesfond.
In this way, the von Sydows have cooperated with Sahlgrenska Academy to give future medical doctors qualified summer jobs and opportunities to participate in research early on in their careers.
Interest is spreading
“This initiative has developed very well over the past decade and has helped us reach our current all-time-high when it comes to interest in research among medical students. And it is spreading to other categories of students,” notes Eric Hanse.
Another initiative aimed at students at Sahlgrenska Academy is the travel scholarship program aimed at master’s students looking to do their master’s thesis abroad. A well-received initiative by Madeleine Olsson Eriksson, chairman of the Sten A Olssons stiftelse för forskning och kultur.
“The foundation has also funded a number of other things which the Academy has benefited from – research projects, the foundation of new centers and, most recently, Gothenburg Center for Spinal Cord Injuries. The foundation has provided committed support to a number of initiatives,” says Eric Hanse.
The appointment of the honorary medical doctors also allows the Faculty Board to honor three persons whose commitment has been very important to Sahlgrenska Academy.
They have done a lot for our students, and a lot which had benefited a multitude of people at the Academy. Fundamentally, they are donors, which we have not highlighted like this in a long time. But they are far more than that. They are very committed and involved, they know the field and participate in selecting candidates in a way that is not obvious for donors,” says Eric Hanse.
Madeleine Olsson Eriksson, born 1945, licensed physician, chairman of Sten A Olssons stiftelse för forskning och kultur.
She has initiated several donations to Sahlgrenska Academy over the past few years, including funding for new centers for research and professional skills development in the field of neuropsychiatry and spinal injuries, funding for positions as visiting professors for nationally and internationally leading researchers, and funding for a number of individual projects such as The Culture and Brain Health Initiative, Alzheimer – Living conditions – Genetics, the Amble project and projects in tumor biology.
A large donation also made it possible to build the Stone house at Ågrenska, a platform for long-term research and development for care, housing and treatment forms for persons with rare diagnoses which often include severe functional impairments.
Helen von Sydow, born 1952, licensed physician, board member of Stiftelsen Erik & Lily Philipsons minnesfond, and Oscar von Sydow, born 1950, ship broker, chairman of Stiftelsen Fru Mary von Sydows, född Wijk, donationsfond.
The couple initiated a long-term investment in summer research, launched in 2005, for students at Sahlgrenska Academy’s medical program. The project has been financed by Stiftelsen Fru Mary von Sydows, född Wijk, donationsfond and, from 2008 onward, also by Stiftelsen Erik & Lily Philipsons minnesfond.
The aim is to encourage future doctors to get involved with research early on in their careers and ensure that the necessary expertise exists in the field in the future. The summer research scholarships have helped improve the quality of the medical program’s theses and raised interest in research among students.
Photos: Thomas Johansson/Sahlgrenska Academy.
TEXT: MARGARETA KUBISTA GUSTAFSSON