Carolina Vogs

Carolina Vogs

Affiliated to Research
Telephone: +46852487443
Visiting address: Nobels väg 13, 17177 Stockholm
Postal address: C6 Institutet för miljömedicin, C6 Systemtoxikologi Vincent, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am a researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences [1] and affiliated at the Institute for Environmental Medicine, Unit of Systems Toxicology. My background is computational toxicology, specifically with the focus to link chemical uptake in the body to the development of toxicity.

    Associate Professor in Predictive Toxicology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

    PostDoc in Toxicology, Karolinska Institutet, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Sweden

    PhD in Ecotoxicology, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research/RWTH Aachen University, Germany

    Diploma in Geoecology, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany



  • My research interests relate to the understanding and modelling of toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic processes of chemicals. Toxicokinetic processes explain “how a chemical gets into a body and what happens to it in the body”, which is described by the chemical mass fluxes of uptake, distribution, biotransformation and excretion. Toxicodynamic processes describe “what the chemical does to the body”, so the cascade of effects once a molecule has reached its biological target.

    At IMM, I study toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic processes of chemicals using zebrafish embryo as alternative model aiming to better understand toxicity mechanisms as well as to reduce or even replace animal testing in toxicology. Zebrafish embryo as alternative experimental model is increasingly used in toxicology and other life sciences due to its transparency, easy and cheap maintenance, and rapid development, among other benefits. I currently focus on two main projects:

    Project 1: Linking accumulation and distribution to the toxicity of perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAA) in zebrafish embryo (in collaboration with Emma Wincent and Gunnar Johanson)

    Perfluorinated alkyl acid carboxylates and sulfonates are a group of persistent organofluorine chemicals that have been broadly used in commercial and industrial products (e.g., surfactants, fluorinated polymers, coatings, fire-resistant foams). Many different PFAA have been detected in human serum samples worldwide and relative levels in autopsy tissues indicate that the distribution of these chemicals in humans varies depending on their chemical properties such as chain lengths and functional groups. In addition, many experimental and epidemiological studies have suggested that PFAA cause multiple adverse health effects. Long-chain PFAA are currently substituted by short-chain variants based on the view that these are less toxic. Still, it is poorly understood how the toxicity links to toxicokinetics and whether chemical properties might be driver of different toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic patterns.

    The aim of the project is to describe and compare the toxicokinetic profiles for four PFAA (PFOS, PFHxS, PFOA, PFBA) with different chain lengths and functional groups in zebrafish embryo. To this end, we address the following objectives:

    1) Quantification of internal PFAA accumulation in zebrafish embryo to explain toxicity differences of phenotypical malformations. Our study suggest that the difference in toxic potency between short-chain and long-chain PFAA is due to differences in accumulation and distribution in the body (see Vogs et al. 2019).

    2) Applying Mass spectrometry imaging and autoradiography to visualize PFAA distribution in zebrafish embryo (in collaboration with Per Andrén, Pharmaceutical Biosciences &
  • Maria Jönsson, Department of Organismal Biology - both at Uppsala University)

    3) Linking PFAA accumulation and distribution differences to effect biomarkers (i.e. transcriptomics) (in collaboration with Joëlle Rüegg, Department of Organismal Biology, Environmental Toxicology)

    Project 2: Revealing the toxicity mechanisms of oxy PAHs in zebrafish embryo (in collaboration with Kristian Dreij)

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been well-studied and monitored as an important chemical class of environmental contaminants with concern for their impact on human health. However, knowledge is very limited when it comes to natural occurring transformation products of PAHs, i.e. the oxygenated-PAHs (oxy-PAHs) including polycyclic aromatic quinones and ketones. Oxy-PAHs are formed by secondary oxidation of PAHs via chemical oxidation, photooxidation and enzymatic transformation by microorganisms. Thereby, parent PAHs and oxy-PAHs simultaneously occur in the environment that can result in mixture effects. Enhanced PAH degradation may lead to comparable or even higher levels of oxy-PAHs compared to PAHs in the environment.

    The aim of this project is to study the toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic mechanisms of oxy-PAHs and PAHs in a comparative transcriptomic analysis in zebrafish embryo.


  • I have supervised master students in the physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling course and zebrafish embryo laboratory course in Karolinska Institutet. I have further experiences as supervisor for bachelor and master students. Please contact me, if you are interested in conducting a thesis work.


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