Researcher is awarded for tools that limit antibiotic resistance

The annual Einhorn SIGHT Award for 2022 is awarded to Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Assistant professor at Chalmers University of Technology. He received the SEK 100,000 award for developing tools and methods that limit infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance in low- and middle-income countries.

Johan Bengtsson-Palme Photo: Martina Butorac

If antibiotics stop working, modern healthcare is brutally thrown back in time. It then becomes difficult to carry out surgical procedures such as for example caesarean sections, but also to treat prematurely born babies, cancer, and life-threatening bacterial infections due to bad water. And unfortunately, the world’s poor suffer the most in these circumstances.

Antibiotic resistance and infections linked to the human environment in various ways have been the focus of Johan Bengtsson-Palme’s research for the past 10 years. Large-scale DNA sequencing of bacteria, artificial intelligence, and bioinformatics are the tools he uses in his research.

“Bacterial infections that become increasingly resistant to antibiotics are one of the major global health challenges of our time. Just as bacterial infections know no national borders, human resistance to antibiotics has no geographic boundaries but is instead a factor of the environment we live in, and our behavioral patterns,” says this year’s recipient of the Einhorn SIGHT Award.

The fight against bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance is primarily concerned with improving access to clean water and sewage systems. Equally important are the data-driven systems used to create easy-to-handle, inexpensive risk models and early warning systems for antibiotic-resistant bacteria that Bengtsson-Palme is developing.

Johan Bengtsson-Palme feels honored to receive the Einhorn SIGHT Award 2022 on November 22. The award ceremony will take place during the SIGHT student event, Global Health Night, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. The theme of the event is Food Safety in conflict.

“It is incredibly satisfying when an idea to solve a problem is appreciated and rewarded in this way,” says laureate Johan Bengtsson-Palme.

Prize citation:
“for outstanding research and development of tools to limit the global challenge of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. The work is of particular importance for health in low- and middle-income countries”

Einhorn SIGHT Award 2022:
The prize, which was founded with support from the Einhorn Family Foundation in 2017, will be awarded on November 22 during the Global Health Night & Einhorn SIGHT Award 2022 event at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The recipient of the Einhorn SIGHT Award 2022 is selected by the board of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In connection with the award ceremony, a seminar will be held for students with a panel discussion on Food security in conflict.

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For more information and interviews:

Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Assistant professor, Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology
+46 73-366 15 98

SIGHT’s director:
Peter Friberg,
+46 70-676 00 13

SIGHT was established in January 2017, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. SIGHT’s purpose is to promote an interdisciplinary approach, to strengthen and bridge Swedish research and education, and to provide a scientific basis for national and transnational collaborative policy work, in the field of global health. Sight is an institute under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.