Professor Bertil Andersson is a plant biochemist of international reputation and is the author of over 300 papers in photosynthesis research, biological membranes and light stress in plants.
He was educated at Umeå and Lund Universities in Sweden. He started his research career at Lund University, after which he became a Professor of Biochemistry at Stockholm University, Sweden, in 1986. From 1996 to 1999, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences at Stockholm University. In 1999, he became the Rector (President) of Linköping University, Sweden, where he served until the end of 2003. From 2004 to 2007, he led the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg, France, as its Chief Executive.
From April 2007 to June 2011, as Provost of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, he was instrumental in helping to redefine education and research at NTU through championing the growth of high-impact science and engineering, and making the university the choice of top international young scientists.
In domains such as sustainability, healthcare, new media and innovation, he spearheaded institutional changes leading to bold new programmes as well as large increases in funding support. A Visiting Professor and Fellow of Imperial College London, Professor Andersson is the key driver of Singapore’s new medical school jointly established by NTU and Imperial College London.
Having strengthened NTU’s reputation as one of the fastest-growing research-intensive universities in the world, Professor Andersson was appointed to take the helm of the University on 1 July 2011. NTU is today one of the fastest-rising universities in the world.
Professor Andersson has had a longstanding association with the Nobel Foundation. From 1989 to 1997, he was a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry (Chair in 1997), later becoming a member of the Nobel Foundation (2000 to 2006). He was, from 2006 to 2010, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nobel Foundation.
He holds honorary doctorates from several universities – the latest being from University of Edinburgh, Hanyang University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Professor Andersson has served on the boards of several Swedish and international foundations and learned societies, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organisation, the Australian Academy of Science, Academia Europaea, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Professor Andersson is a research adviser to the Swedish government and was, between 2004 and 2009, the Vice President of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) of the European Commission in Brussels. He has also been an adviser to business activities in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sector.
In Singapore, he serves on the Governing Board of the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering, and is a Board member of Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority and A*STAR Singapore, the government agency in charge of national scientific research and development. He was previously a member of the Singapore National Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, set up by former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan in 2006 to advise the Singapore government on its R&D strategy.
In November 2010, Professor Andersson received the Wilhelm Exner Medal in Vienna, Austria, joining an illustrious list of laureates that includes Nobel Prize winners.