Born in Uppsala, Sweden, Torsten Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1981 in recognition of his pioneering work on the neural basis of visual perception, carried out at Harvard Medical School in collaboration with David Hubel. He served as President of the Rockefeller University from 1992 until 1998 when he was appointed President Emeritus.
From 2000 to 2009, he served as Secretary General of HFSPO, where he reshaped scientific programs so as to be effective instruments for the funding of interdisciplinary, frontier life science research. Among the initiatives he introduced were the Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship program, the Career Development Award and Young Investigator Grant program, each of which also gives particular encouragement to scientists early in their career, at a period when the potential for creativity is especially strong and independence is critical to innovation. In order to build up the HFSP community and seed future collaborations between its members, he introduced the highly successful Annual Awardees Meeting.
Torsten Wiesel currently co-chairs the Board of Governors of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, chairs the Scientific Council of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization and serves on the Board of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. He is member of the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Philosophical Society, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.