Hans Lennernäs receives the Humboldt Research Award


Hans Lennernäs, Professor of Biopharmaceutics, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award by the German Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. The prize money, 60,000 euros, will partially finance a Swedish-German study aiming to develop new drugs for chemotherapy against cancer.

Hans Lennernäs, Professor of Biopharmaceutics, Uppsala University
Hans Lennernäs, Professor of Biopharmaceutics, Uppsala University

Hans Lennernäs, Professor at Uppsala University's Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award. The prize, which includes 60,000 euros, is awarded annually to a number of researchers whose results have had a lasting effect on their discipline beyond their immediate research area. The amount is intended to finance a project carried out in collaboration between the prize winner and German research groups.

“I am very grateful for this generous award, which enables us to deepen a study that we have already initiated in collaboration with Peter Langguth, Professor at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Together, we are trying to identify substances that can counteract some of the strong side effects that often occur during chemotherapy against cancer, and then explore whether it is possible to develop drugs based on such substances,” says Hans Lennernäs.

The Humboldt Research Award is given by the German Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. According to the foundation's statutes, each winner's scientific output must be internationally recognized and, above all, the winner must be expected to continue producing exceptional research in the future. With this award, Hans Lennernäs takes his place among an exclusive group of Swedish recipients of the Humboldt Research Award, which includes, among others, Kai Siegbahn (1986), Joseph Nordgren (2006) and Börje Johansson (2017).

Peter Langguth, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität

“Hans Lennernäs' research group shows with repeated success how findings from pure biomedical research can result in the development of applications that can be used in practice. That the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung now gives us the opportunity to further combine Professor Lennernäs' extensive knowledge of the healing processes of intestinal tissue with our own expertise in drug delivery undoubtedly strengthens our chances of success,” states Peter Langguth.

Professor Lennernäs has published 270 scientific articles (as of August 2022) and is the receiver of several national and international awards, among them Uppsala University's Hjärnäpplet innovation award and the 2020 APS Award from the English Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Lennernäs' long-standing collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Swedish Food Agency and the University of Michigan, among other things, formed the basis of the Biopharmaceutics Classification System – a system to differentiate pharmaceutical drugs on the basis of their solubility and permeability that is currently used by the WHO as well as authorities around the world.


  • The Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung gives up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards each year to internationally leading researchers in all disciplines in recognition of their academic merit.
  • The award is named after the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)



Hans Lennernäs, Professor of Biopharmaceutics
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

Text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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Last modified: 2024-04-04