Imperial College London

Professor Molly Stevens wins 2023 Novo Nordisk Prize


Professor Molly Stevens

Professor Molly Stevens has won the 2023 Novo Nordisk Prize for her pioneering work in innovative bioengineering approaches.

The Prize honours active scientists who have made outstanding contributions to advance medical science to benefit people’s lives. The Prize is accompanied by DKK5 million – around £600,000 GBP. 

“Molly Stevens has made pioneering discoveries in bioengineering" Jørgen Frøkiær Chair of the Novo Nordisk Prize Committee

Jørgen Frøkiær, Chair of the Novo Nordisk Prize Committee, said: “Molly Stevens has made pioneering discoveries in bioengineering to develop innovative materials-based solutions across regenerative medicine, biosensing and therapeutics. She focuses on difficult problems that, if successfully addressed, will have great clinical impact. Her legacy already comprises a great number of students and researchers who have benefitted from her guidance and who have achieved independent faculty positions at highly reputed universities, been appointed by industry or become entrepreneurs by establishing spin-out companies.” 

Professor Stevens, of Imperial’s Departments of Materials and Bioengineering, said: “Imagine a world where diseases such as cancer, malaria and heart failure could be detected as simply, quickly and cheaply as pregnancy is today. We are harnessing the power of nanomaterials to make this dream a reality. This work is inherently interdisciplinary, and I would like to thank my team and colleagues – a diverse cast of materials scientists, engineers, chemists, biologists, physicists and surgeons. Everything we have achieved is a result of this fantastic team-based effort.” 

Solving key problems 

Professor Stevens’ work on tissue engineering, efficient drug delivery and more sensitive screening for diseases are helping to democratise access to healthcare and solve key problems in regenerative medicine and biosensing. 

Whereas most medical research disciplines have traditionally belonged to one or a few of the categories, nanomedicine transcends all, from extraordinary sensitive diagnostic devices to pharmaceutical drug delivery formulations such as in the COVID-19 vaccines.  

Professor Stevens leads an internationally recognised team based at Imperial College London as well as a satellite group at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. 

She said: “The exploration of the interface between materials and biology has always been at the centre of my research. And how you – by understanding it – can design and then apply it in so many different ways. Whether it is regenerative medicine, amplification of biosensing signals or the way that nanoparticles target and deliver cargoes, the interface between living and non-living matter has always been the central theme throughout my career." 

Molly Stevens will officially receive the Novo Nordisk Prize at a prize ceremony in Bagsværd, Denmark on 22 April 2023. 

This news story is based on a press release from Novo Nordisk. 


Caroline Brogan

Caroline Brogan
Communications Division

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