Bo Hjelt honorary doctor at Lund University
The doctoral conferment ceremony was held in Lund on May 24.
Bo Hjelt (born 1935) was born and raised in Sweden. He studied economics in Geneva. After being employed at the metal works company, Svenska Metallverken, he started his own business which was to become the multinational company Corporate Development International. This is where he created the fortune that has benefited medical research. In 1986, he formed the Bo Hjelt Foundation for Spina Bifida in memory of Madeleine Hjelt, which has funded a number of doctoral projects. The research led to the now worldwide recommendation to give folate to pregnant women in order to prevent spina bifida, which reduces the incidence of this malformation by close to 50 percent.
In 2008, the Bo & Kerstin Hjelt Foundation was created to support type 2 diabetes research at Lund University and the University of Geneva. Projects from promising junior researchers have been prioritised and the ambition is to provide support for research on diabetes mechanisms to better understand the onset and development of the disease and its complications. The long-term aim is to prevent and cure diabetes. a large number of these projects have led to publications in leading scietific journals. This significant funding has contributed to the academic careers of young researchers and the University's reputation far beond the reach of scientific literature, as many of the research results hav recieved media attention.