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About Comparative Medicine

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.

Mouse in cage, Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.

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.

Comparative Medicine acts as a resource regarding permits issues in research that include animals.That includes acting 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. Comparative Medicine has the administrative responsibility for the Animal Welfare Body at Karolinska Institutet.


Comparative Medicine at Karolinska Institutet was created in June 2010 by a decision from the KI Vice-chancellor and has the same independent position as a department. The mission is to organize, develop and operate Karolinska Institutet’s infrastructure for research involving laboratory animals.

CM is also responsible for education and training in Laboratory Animal Science (LAS) under Directive 2010/63/EU, and communication directed toward the public con­cerning live animal research at KI.

All activities shall be performed with KI: s values and mission as the guiding principles. They shall be permeated by a 3R approach to every aspect of the business (Directive 2010/63/EU) and be evidence-based.

Comparative medicine today contains various service- and animal facilities.

Staff members are also dedicated to infrastructure, technical service and maintenance, IT support, finances, communications and human resources at the department.

The acting Director of Comparative Medicine from April 1st 2018 is Christer Säfholm.

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. Read more about Animal experiments at Karolinska Institutet.

Contact us


Address: Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

Acting director

Christer Säfholm


Head of administration

Camilla Fors Holmberg



Comparative Medicine is comprised of several units, located both on Campus Solna and Campus Flemingsberg.

Administration/Executive office


Address: Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

Registry Office


Address: Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

Financial administration


Technique and services




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Common address for all supplier's invoices:

Karolinska Institutet
Box 23 109
SE-104 35 Stockholm

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