Ulf Nilsson

Ulf Nilsson


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Molecular recognition - Galectin chemistry and biology - Inhibition of bacterial symporters - Chemistry of neural interfaces

The research interest in our group is focused on molecular recognition studies in biological systems, biology and medicinal chemistry of galectins, bacterial symporters, and the chemistry at brain-machine interfaces.

One project concerns the synthesis of ligands for the galectins, a family of 14 mammalian lectins recognizing ß-D-galactose- containing glycoconjugates, playing critical roles in inflammation and cancer. The research on galectin proteins is part of a larger network at Lund University. Another project focuses on understanding and inhibiting bacterial sodium solute symporter proteins that transport sialic acid into bacteria. These symporters are needed by bacteria for metabolic processes or for incorporation into polysaccharide structures in order to mimic host glycosylation patterns and thus escape host immune defenses. Finally, chemistry for optimizing biocompatibility, mechanical stability, and signal properties of neural interfaces are developed.

He teaches courses in medicinal (KOKN01 and KEMM20) and organic (KOKN05) chemistry at both undergraduate and graduate level. Professor Nilsson teaches organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, environmental chemistry, and toxicology at undergraduate and graduate level. He was awarded "Excellent teaching practitioner" by the Technical Faculty (LTH) of Lund University in 2009 and The Students’ Pedagogic Prize “Best lecturer” 2012 from students at the MSc program Environmental engineering at the Technical Faculty (LTH) of Lund University. He was 2009-2016 the assistant coordinator of the MSc program Environmental engineering at the Technical Faculty (LTH) of Lund University. Further, he was awarded the Students’ Prize “Teacher of the year”  2021 from the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology programs at LTH, Lund University.

Fourteen postdoctoral students have been trained, seventeen students have obtained their PhD degree, and numerous students have obtained their MSc degree under the supervision of professor Nilsson. He is the author of >180 original research publications in peer-reviewed journals, several reviews and book chapters, one course book, and 20 patent families encompassing 34 patents and 40 pending patent applications. He has given numerous invited lectures at universities, conferences, and in industry and is a board member of the Medicinal chemistry section of  Swedish Pharmaceutical Society. In 2017 he was awarded the Wallmarkska prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Engenstromska Gold Medal by the The Royal Physiographic Society. The Wallmarkska prize rewards progress or invention in any remarkable extent promotes the sciences and industry's progress and the Engenströmska Gold Medal rewards for outstanding work within the applied sciences. He was elected  a member of the Royal Physiographic Society, Sweden, in 2018.

ResearcherID: L-3219-2014

OrchidID: 0000-0001-5815-9522 

Web of Science November 3, 2023:

  • Number of citations 7183
  • Number of citations without self-citations 6148 (15% self-citations)
  • Average citations per paper 36.8 and h-index 48

Google Scholar November 3, 2023:

  • Number of citations 10856 (5360 since 2018).
  • h-index 60 (40 since 2018)
  • i10-index 156

Four companies have been co-founded by professor Nilsson. One company, Galecto Biotech AB, has taken two compounds discovered in professor Nilsson's group to clinical trials.

Ulf Nilsson obtained his PhD at Lund University 1995 working with oligosaccharide synthesis under the supervision of professor Göran Magnusson. He did post-doctoral studies 1995-1997 at University of Alberta, Canada, with professor Ole Hindsgaul developing methods for combinatorial carbohydrate chemistry. He initiated his independent research career at Lund University 1998 as an assistant professor. Nilsson was promoted to associate professor/senior lecturer in 2001 and full professor in 2009. 

He enjoys spending free time with his family at their houses. Outdoor activities such as fly fishing, hiking, XC running, nordic skiing, mountain biking, road biking, and sea kayaking are favorites of professor Nilsson.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Organic Chemistry

Free keywords

  • Molecular design
  • medicinal organic chemistry
  • galectin


Dive into the research topics where Ulf Nilsson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or