“Lena Gustafsson has excellent credentials as a researcher and abundant experience as a leader. Her extensive international network will be a great asset for both Umeå University and the region,” says Birgitta Johansson-Hedberg, Chairperson of the University Board.

“It is gratifying, exciting and an incredible honour – a tremendous challenge and important assignment awaits me,” says Lena Gustafsson, who will be the second female Vice-Chancellor in the 45 year history of Umeå University.

Lena Gustafsson was born in 1949. She is a Professor of Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology and Deputy Director General of Vinnova.

She earned a BSc degree (chemistry, oceanography, microbiology) at the University of Gothenburg in 1972. She obtained a PhD in microbiology in 1980, specializing in glycerol metabolism in marine yeast. In 1994, she became an associate professor of the University of Gothenburg. She was appointed Professor of Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology in 1999.

Lena Gustafsson has a proven track record in management and leadership. She has been the head of department at Chalmers University of Technology during 1999-2002, and subsequently as the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Chalmers from 2003-2006. She took over as Deputy Director General of VINNOVA in 2006, and during January-August 2009 she served as Acting Director General of Vinnova.

In past years, Lena Gustafsson has been acting in Swedish research funding organizations (TFR, SJFR, VR, VINNOVA, Swedish National Space Board, SIDA’s Research Cooperation) and has been and is member of numerous scientific national and international boards (Chairman of the Board of the Nordic Innovation Center (NICe), 2008) and committees.

She is member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) – section X and is member of IVA´s Business Executives Council. Her scientific work has focused on energy metabolism and regulation of energy flows in lower eukaryotic systems, like yeast, and their use as model systems and in industrial biotechnology.

The government will make the formal decision based on the Board’s recommendation of Lena Gustafsson. A university vice-chancellor is normally appointed for a period of six years with the possibility of a three-year extension.

Professor Göran Sandberg, current Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University, will assume to role of Executive Director at the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Press image of Lena Gustafsson:

Contact information:
Birgitta Johansson-Hedberg, Chairperson of University Board
Mobile: +46 (0)702-18 02 83
Lena Gustafsson, Deputy Director General of VINNOVA
Mobile: +46 0730-79 42 91