Samuelsson, Bengt Ingemar (1934-) is a Swedish biochemist. He won the 1982 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for discoveries regarding prostaglandins and related substances. Prostaglandins are important chemical compounds that help control various functions of the body. Samuelsson shared the prize with his research partner, Swedish biochemist Sune K. Bergström, and with British biochemist John Robert Vane, who independently did similar work.
Samuelsson was born on May 21, 1934, in Halmstad, Sweden. At the University of Lund, he joined a research group led by Bergström. When Bergström accepted a position at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1958, Samuelsson went with him.
Samuelsson received a doctor of medical sciences degree in biochemistry in 1960 and a medical degree in 1961 from the Karolinska Institute. He then became assistant professor of medical chemistry at the institute.
From 1961 to 1962, Samuelsson was a research fellow at Harvard University in the United States. He returned to the Karolinska Institute in 1962 and began studying prostaglandins with Bergström. He discovered that prostaglandins are modified versions of fatty acids found throughout the bodies of human beings and all other animals. From 1967 to 1972, Samuelsson was a professor of medical chemistry at the Royal Veterinary College in Stockholm. He then rejoined the staff at the Karolinska Institute. In 1973, he discovered thromboxanes, prostaglandins that influence the clotting of blood. From 1977 to 1983, Samuelsson served as dean of the medical faculty at the Karolinska Institute. He was rector (head) of the institute from 1983 to 1995. In 1993, he also began to serve as chairman of the Nobel Foundation. Samuelsson became a special advisor to the European Community in 1995.