ISIS Neutron and Muon Source user Tommy Nylander awarded the Norblad-Ekstrand medal
27 Oct 2017



Professor Tommy Nylander, from the Division of Physical Chemistry at Lund University is the 2017 recipient of the Norblad-Ekstrand medal, presented by the Swedish Chemical Society.


​Prof Tommy Nylander, recipient of the Norblad-Ekstrand medal​.


​This prestigious award is for his outstanding scientific research in physical chemistry, performing work of great value to the Swedish Chemical Society.

Prof. Nylander is at the forefront of Swedish surface chemistry research focusing on biological interfaces. He has been a prolific user of ISIS Neutron and Muon Source for more than 25 years, carrying out experiments on a range of instruments including Inter​, Surf​, CRISP ​and SANS2D, which resulted in more than a dozen papers. He ran his first experiment at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source in 1999 on CRISP with Prof. Bob Thomas.

​He began his scientific course in food technology ​at the Faculty of Engineering at Lund where he studied the surface properties of milk proteins. From this engineering starting point, Nylander took an ambitious approach, introducing ellipsometry to clarify factors controlling adsorption reversibility, and he began to touch on questions such as the​ competitive and sequential adsorption of proteins. Nylander introduced several surface characterization techniques to Lund, and for a number of years combined ellipsometry and surface wave studies to investigate the surface properties of DNA and surfactant compaction.

In recent years, Prof. Nylander's enthusiasm for new experimental methodology has seen him apply synchrotron and neutron radiation in innovative studies of biological surfaces. He has continued efforts to clarify mechanisms for the surface behavior of proteins, for example, through a series of lipase studies, but also broadened them to lipid-coated surfaces and their interaction with colloidal drug carriers (cubosomes, dendrimers, etc.) as well as adsorption of DNA to these and other surfaces in the presence or absence of surfactants. 

"There could not be a more deserved recipient of the Norblad-Ekstrand medal than Tommy Nylander! First and foremost, his research towards the understanding of interfacial interactions of lipid phases and a broad range of amphiphilic systems in soft matter and biology is highly distinguished. His work relies on a range of experimental techniques and supporting computational calculations, but in particular he is a strong enthusiast of neutron science, not only at the ISIS pulsed source in the UK and the ILL in France, where he has acquired a large amount of his scientific data, but also many other facilities worldwide. Furthermore, his exceptional dedication needs to be mentioned as clearly he offers more support than most academics to further the careers and aspirations of the young scientists who have the fortune to work with him." 

Dr Richard Campbell, ​FIGARO Instrument Responsible at ILL and long-time collaborator of Prof. Nylander.

​In addition to his academic research, Nylander has made a valuable contribution to raising awareness of neutron techniques and used his extensive knowledge in multiple project committees at major neutron facilities. ​