About Comparative Medicine

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Comparative Medicine deals with all aspects of activities related to animal experimentation in research at Karolinska Institutet.

Veterinarians, technicians, biomedical scientists, teachers and administrative personnel work here. We provide service and guidance on experimental animal research for researchers, doctoral students and other employees at Karolinska Institutet. 

We also offer some of our services to those who research, study or work for other educational institutions or research laboratories in Sweden.

Specialists in experimental animal research

At Comparative Medicine we are specialists in experimental animal research. We endeavour to develop the 3R principle (Reduce, Refine, Replace) in Karolinska Institutet's research using experimental animals. Our objective is to support research and education to improve human health. An ethical approach and ensuring a humane environment for both animals and humans at Karolinska Institutet are fundamental to our work.

We also act as a link between Karolinska Institutet and other bodies that regulate how experimental animals may be used in research, for example the Swedish Board of Agriculture. Read more about Our services and responsibilities (link to internwebben.ki.se)

Comparative Medicine has the administrative responsibility for the Animal Welfare Body at Karolinska Institutet (link to internwebben.ki.se)


Comparative Medicine at Karolinska Institutet was created in June 2010 and has the same independent position as a department. 

The department today contains various service facilities with experimental animal-based activity; a veterinary unit that offers veterinary service; and an educational unit that offers courses in laboratory animal science. Read more about Comparative Medicine's units and service facilities

Staff members are also dedicated to infrastructure, technical service and maintenance, IT support, finances, communications and human resources at the department. Contact details to administrative and technical service (link to internwebben.ki.se) 

The Director of Comparative Medicine is Brun Ulfhake, a professor at Karolinska Institutet.

Director Comparative Medicine

Brun Ulfhake

E-mail: km@ki.se

Download the Comparative Medicine organisational chart as a pdf

What does Comparative Medicine mean?

Comparative medicine is the name of a field of research in experimental medicine in which a study is made of: 

  • naturally occurring and experimental animal models of human disease
  • the etiopathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnosis, therapy and prevention of infectious and noninfectious diseases of laboratory animals
  • the normal biology of experimental animals in relation to that of humans.

We who work at Comparative Medicine do however not undertake any research of our own. Researchers who wish to engage us and our service are welcome to contact us.

Animal experiments at Karolinska Institutet

The mission of Karolinska Institutet is to improve people's health through research and education. Basic and clinical research contribute to develop new forms of treatment. 

Some of the research is carried out using test-tube experiments. But it is not yet possible to replace all use of experimental animals in research with alternative methods.

Research and experiments conducted on animals is strictly regulated and is governed by Swedish and EU legislation on animal protection. In order to be allowed to perform an animal experiment in Sweden it is necessary first to apply for permission from an animal experimental ethics committee, which conducts an ethical review of the experiment. Representatives of researchers and laypeople sit on the animal experimental ethical committees and it is their task to weigh up the effect on the animals against the benefit of the research.


Animal experiment