On May 30, Chairman Dai-Won Yoon of Ilsong Educational Foundation received the ‘Linnaeus Medal’ from Uppsala University at Ilsong Art Hall of Hallym University. This makes him the first person from Asia to receive the award.
About 600 people attended the ceremony including Daniel Wolvén, Ambassador of Sweden to Korea, Anders Hagfeldt, President of Uppsala University, Robert Kelly, President Emeritus of NewYork Presbyterian Hospital, Yanghee Choi, President of Hallym University, Hee-Sung Yoon, Executive Director of Ilsong Educational Foundation, and Yongsun Kim, Chair Professor of Hallym University College of Medicine.
The Linneaeus Medal was established by Uppsala University and has been awarded since 2007 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, a biologist who was also called as the father of botany. The Linnaeus Medal is awarded annually to individuals who have made outstanding achievements in the field of science. Previous major laureates include Nobel Prize winners such as Professor Michel Mayor, linguist Noam Chomsky, Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Chairman Yoon won the award in 2020, but the award ceremony, which was postponed due to the Corona 19 pandemic, was held this year. In general, the award ceremony is originally held at Uppsala University in Sweden, but Chairman Yoon won the award as the first one in Asia to receive the Linneaeus Medal, which was a different feature from other recipients. Therefore, the Uppsala University delegation visited Korea and presented the medal.
The reason for Chairman Yoon to be selected as the winner was ‘International Cooperation.’ Unlike other recipients who received medals for individual scientific achievements, Chairman Yoon was recognized for his contribution to international exchange in medical science at the macro level. From 2007 to 2023, Chairman Yoon is said to have improved the level of medical science between the two countries by leading international cooperation among Hallym University, Hallym University Medical Center and Uppsala University.
In particular, 11 international symposiums were held on topics such as the future of diabetes treatment, neuroendocrine oncology, radiology, stem cell, regenerative medicine, cancer immunotherapy, antibiotic resistance, cardiovascular disease, women's medicine, pediatric medicine, and systemic inflammatory diseases.
In 2011, the ‘Hallym-Uppsala International Co-Research Laboratory at Uppsala’ a branch of the Hallym University Medical Center’s research center, opened at the Ludbek Research Center in Uppsala University. Researchers from the two countries are researching technology convergence for degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, prion, and Parkinson's disease.
In 2014, the ‘Hallym Institute for Translational Medicine’ was established within the Hallym University Medical Center and the ‘Hallym Institute for Translational Medicine’ was established at the affiliated hospital. Hallym University Medical Convergence Center and Hallym Medical A.I. Center were also opened. In addition, numerous exchange students went through training under international exchanges. Professors of Neurology, Endocrinology & Metabolism, and Hematology-Oncology at Hallym University Medical Center were dispatched to Uppsala University and conducted research on gene and cell therapy for incurable diseases and cancer.
At the medal ceremony, President Anders Hagfeldt said, "With the passion and support of Chairman Yoon, the families of Uppsala University, Hallym University, and the Medical Center have a special bond." He added, "As a great international partner, we highly appreciate the medical research cooperation between the two universities and the close relationship between universities and countries, and we would like to honor this with the award of the Linnaeus Medal."
Chairman Yoon also said, "I will keep the Linnaeus Medal award in my heart and do my best for the coexistence of all mankind and the universe."
By Eunbee Cho, Int’l Cooperation Team, HUMC (email@example.com)