Mikael Odenberg
Former defence minister Mikael Odenberg is the new chair of the Karolinska Institute. Credit: Drago Prvulovic/ Tomas Oneborg/TT.

Former defence minister takes command of Karolinska Institute

Sweden’s former defence minister Mikael Odenberg has been appointed as chair of the Karolinska Insitute, which saw a clean sweep of its board in the wake of the Macchiarini scandal.

The Karolinska Institute (KI) is Sweden’s most prominent medical university

Its previous board was dismissed earlier this year after a documentary on Swedish television revealed that the university’s former star surgeon, Paolo Macchiarini, had been cheating in his research and used dangerous methods in his transplantations of artificial windpipes.

Now the government has named the new people who will lead the institution.

“KI is still ranked high internationally, but there is hardly any doubt that KI’s reputation has been damaged, both nationally and internationally.

And in trying to capture the board’s task I must say that it is to try and lead the work to re-establish the Karolinska Institute’s former glory, if I may put it that way,” the new chair, Mikael Odenberg said.

Mikael Odenberg was the Moderate Party defence minister from 2006 to 2007. He will start in his new position as chair on December 1, 2016. Another three board members were appointed by the government today: Liselott Höjgaard from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Björn Stensaker of the Oslo University, and the consultant and medical specialist Göran Stiernstedt.

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