Course organizers at the Master's Programme in Toxicology

Throughout the programme you will meet many lecturers and tutors from KI, other universities, authorities and companies. The program is however run by a tight group of researchers at KI, all with a strong connection to different aspects of toxicology spanning from mechanisms, testing and risk assessment. Below are short presentations of the course organizers.

Professor Annika Hanberg. Photo: Ulf Sirborn
Annika Hanberg, IMM. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Annika Hanberg

Professor and Programme Director for the Master’s programme in Toxicology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Annika Hanberg’s research was previously in the area of experimental toxicology, but has changed to development of risk assessment methodology, such as systematic review, mixtures, Endocrine Disruption (ED) and dose-response relationships. She is active in giving health risk assessment support for national agencies, EU Agencies and the WHO. She also organizes short courses in health risk assessment. Focus of the risk assessment activities is in the areas of ED, Persistent Organic Pollutants and contaminated areas. Recently she got involved in the Swedish National Platform for Nanosafety, SweNanoSafe. She is also an European Registered Toxicologist (ERT).

Besides being responsible for the entire ToxMaster programme Annika is also the course organizer and examiner for three courses:

  • Histopathology and Clinical pathology (5 credits, T1). The course includes anatomy, histology, hematology and blood chemistry of relevance to toxicity testing.
  • Regulatory toxicity testing (10 credits, T3). The course aims at giving the student knowledge and skills in all parts of toxicity testing in vivo and the application of the 3Rs (Reduce, Refine, Replace animal testing).
  • Degree Project in Toxicology (37.5 credits, T3-4).  The course is the last course of the programme and enables students to, under supervision and via independent work, plan and carry out a research or risk assessment-related project within the toxicological field.

Annika Hanberg was awarded with the Mäster 2019 award as a recognition of her unwavering commitment and drive to improve education for KI's toxicology students. The award was presented to her at the annual ball organized by KI's student unions. 

Anna Beronius, IMM. Photo: Anna Persson

Anna Beronius

Assistant Professor of Toxicology and Programme Study Director at the Master’s programme in Toxicology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Anna is a toxicologist with a specific interest in regulatory toxicology, i.e. how health hazards of chemicals are tested and assessed for the purpose of ensuring that they are safe for humans. Her research focuses on structured methods for evidence evaluation and integration in health risk assessment of chemicals, such as the application of systematic review methodologies, weight of evidence evaluation and Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP). Her main interest is the hazard and risk assessment of endocrine disruptors and chemical mixtures.

Anna is the course organizer and examiner for Health Risk Assessment (9 credits, T2). In this course, students learn the principles and main concepts of health risk assessment and how toxicological information is used in this context. Specific challenges, as well as the roles and responsibilities of different regulatory authorities, agencies, industry, researchers and other experts are discussed.  Anna also teaches on the topics of risk, AOPs, endocrine disruptors, and systematic methods for data evaluation and integration in other courses on the programme.

Kristian Dreij, IMM. Photo: Kristian Dreij.

Kristian Dreij

Associate Professor of Toxicology and Programme Study Director at the Master’s programme in Toxicology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

A chemist and toxicologist by training, his research interests are mixture toxicology with focus on genetic toxicology and development of new approaches for testing and risk assessment of mixtures. His research spans from experimental in vitro toxicology to population studies with main focus on PAHs and pesticides. Of special interest is also the impact of DNA damage on transcription fidelity and the cellular effects this entails. See more here: https://ki.se/en/people/kridre

Kristian is the course organizer and examiner for Principles of Toxicology (7.5 credits, T1) and Applications of Methods in Toxicological Research (16.5 credits, T2). The prior course is the first course of the programme and gives an introduction and overview of toxicology to the students and includes a highly appreciated journal club. During the latter course the students will learn and perform a number of experimental in vitro methods to study the toxicity of a chemical. The course also includes training in scientific writing and the obtained results are summarized in the style of a scientific publication. This course also comprises lectures and training in biostatistics and OMICs.

Rafael Frias
Rafael Frias, KM

Rafael Frias

Head of Education and Director of the Unit for Education and Training in Laboratory Animal Science, Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Rafael received his veterinary degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Murcia, Spain, in 1999. In 2007, he obtained a master’s degree in laboratory animal science and welfare by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, and in 2013 he received a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland. Rafael is Associate Professor (Docent) of Laboratory Animal Science by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Rafael has interdisciplinary veterinary, academic and scientific background, involving various veterinary medical fields, animal species and models, and research disciplines. He has extensive teaching experience in the field of laboratory animal science, preclinical research and comparative medicine, and is actively involved in national and international expert groups in laboratory animal science at both national and international level. Rafael has relevant work experience with various animal models in basic, translational, pharmacology, safety and veterinary research. 

Rafael is course director of the Laboratory Animal Science in Theory and Practice (4.5 credits, T2). The main aim of this course is to provide initial education and training in laboratory animal science for those who will undertake or design experimental procedures using animals, with focus on rodents and lagomorphs, and for those who will read and analyse scientific literature and/or data that have been generated from studies involving animals.

Hanna Karlsson, IMM

Hanna Karlsson

Associate Professor of Toxicology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet (KI) and chair of the KI Council for Environment and Sustainable Development.

Hanna is a chemist by training and has a PhD in medical sciences. Her research is mainly about understanding the interaction between nanoparticles and cells with a particular focus on genotoxicity. Another project focuses on development of an in vitro assay for detecting skin sensitizing potencies of chemicals. See more here: https://ki.se/en/people/hkarlss

Hanna is course leader for Applications of Methods in Toxicological Research (16.5 credits, T2) and course leader/examiner for Global Toxicology in a Sustainable Society (2.5 credits, T3). During the first course the students will learn and perform cell culturing and a number of experimental in vitro methods. The latter course deals with the concept of sustainable development and toxicological problems in a global perspective.

Maria Kippler, IMM

Maria Kippler

Associate Professor of Environmental Medicine at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.

Maria is a toxicologist by training and has a PhD in medical sciences. Her research focuses on early life exposure to environmental pollutants, primarily metals and trace elements, and adverse health outcomes during the lifespan. Most of this research is conducted using data from several birth cohorts established in Europe, south-east Asia, and south America. Maria also collaborates with other researchers conducting experimental studies to elucidate underlying modes and mechanisms of action of her epidemiological findings. See more here: https://staff.ki.se/people/markip

Maria is course leader for Target Organ Toxicology – Toxicokinetics and Toxicodynamics (17,5 credits, T1). This course is about kinetics and dynamics for toxicity of chemical substances that can be hazardous to human health or to sustainable development in an individual, population and global perspective. The course consists of two parts: Kinetics, mechanisms and effects in different organ systems (9 credits) and Integration of target organ toxicology (8.5 credits).

Johanna Zilliacus 

Senior lecturer and Departmental Director of Education at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Johanna has performed research in molecular endocrinology, endocrine disruption and health risk assessment and has a specific expertise in in vitro methods and in molecular endocrinology. Her on-going research focuses on risk assessment methodology to support decision-making, including research on systematic review methodology, adverse outcome pathways and risk assessment of combined exposures.

She is one of the course organizers and examiners for the Degree Project in Toxicology (37.5 credits, T3-4).  The course is the last course of the programme and enables students to, under supervision and via independent work, plan and carry out a research or risk assessment-related project within the toxicological field.