This year, the Uppsala University Innovation Prize for outstanding transfer of knowledge – the Hjärnäpple* -goes to Sara Mangsbo, Assistant Professor (docent) and Associate Senior Lecturer in Medical Science, and research leader at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
“The Hjärnäpplet rewards particularly outstanding contributions in terms of knowledge transfer, innovation and practical application of research. It’s an important prize for the University, and Sara Mangsbo is a worthy recipient,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Malmberg, who has chaired the advisory committee.
“Sara Mangsbo works in a systematic, focused way to turn her research into innovations. Alongside her research on model systems for immunological treatment of cancer, she is one of the founders of the company Immuneed AB and Chief Development Officer at Ultimovacs AS. She’s also involved in other initiatives in areas related to development of new drugs, such as VivoLogica AB.
Immuneed has developed methods for visualising the immunological effects a pharmaceutical has when it comes in contact with blood. These methods provide preliminary effect data faster and this, earlier in the development phase, allows assessment of whether a drug is safe for human use. Ultimovacs AS, which has partially taken over the research results, is currently developing immunotherapy-based treatments. The strategy is, instead of using cytotoxins, to strengthen the body’s own immune system to combat diseases, such as malignant melanoma, prostate cancer and lung cancer.
Sara Mangsbo has the capacity to combine various roles and, as an entrepreneur, demonstrates her ability to put her research findings to use by developing business ventures, engaging others and leading them. Sara is active in her contacts with the system of innovation support that exists in Uppsala, and shares what she has learnt and knows.”
The Swedish word hjärnäpple, literally ‘brain apple’, is a pun, or play on words. The first half of the word sounds like järn (iron), and is an oblique reference to the ‘iron apple’ sculpture bestowed on the winner along with the prize money. See www.uu.se/en/about-uu/traditions/prizes/hjarnapplet.