Carolyn Cesta

Carolyn Cesta

Assistant Professor
Visiting address: Maria Aspmans gata 30A, 17164 Solna
Postal address: K2 Medicin, Solna, K2 KEP Kieler H, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am a pharmacoepidemiologist with a research focus on generating high-quality evidence on the benefits and consequences of medication use during pregnancy for both the mother and child. My work aims to leverage the strengths of the Swedish population-based registers in Nordic and International collaborative studies. I have been a researcher at the Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology [1] at Karolinska Institutet since 2017 and lead the Reproduction research area [2]. Currently, I am the co-chair of the executive committee of the Nordic Pharmacoepidemiological Network [3].

    2013-2017 PhD, Medical Sciences, Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
    2007-2009 MSc, Medical Sciences, Physiology &
  • Pharmacology, McMaster University, Canada
    2001-2006 BSc, Biology and Pharmacology, McMaster University, Canada

    Postdoctoral research
    2020-2022 Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA
    2017-2020 Postdoctoral research, Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden



  • My primary research field is within reproductive pharmacoepidemiology, with my largest focus on the benefits and consequences of medication use in pregnancy for the health of the mother and child. Much of my work is conducted in collaboration with Nordic and international researchers within the NorPreSS/InPreSS consortium.[1] Current projects include studying the utilization and safety of medications used to treat type 2 diabetes, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, epilepsy, and sleeping problems in pregnant women.

    I am the main supervisor for two doctoral students with research projects in this field:
    ·Felix Wittström [2]
    ·Silvia Segovia Chacón [3]

    My secondary interests include how psychiatric health influences reproductive health and vice versa, and in particular, the role of androgens in the etiology of mood disorders. I address these topics through studies on the comorbidity of psychiatric illness in women and their children with polycystic ovary syndrome, in collaboration with researchers at KI.[4]

    Additionally, I am co-PI of UppStART [5] – the "Uppsala-Stockholm Assisted Reproductive Techniques study", a prospective cohort study of couples who underwent infertility treatment in the greater Stockholm and Uppsala municipalities in 2011-2013.

    My research is, or has been, funded by:
    ·Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)
    ·Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Global Fellowship, European Commission, Horizon 2020
    ·Stiftelsen Söderström-Königska Sjukhemmet
    ·Karolinska Institutet Research Foundation Grants

    [1] PMID: 38079178, 37343541, 36477338, 32870289.
    [4] PMID: 31792459, 33441551, 30857571, 27513883.


  • I have over 300 hours of teaching including supervision, lecturing, and seminar leading at bachelor, masters, and doctoral level at KI:
    ·2014–2022, Group leader, Medical Program, Scientific Development and Scientific Methodology courses
    ·2017-2021, Seminar leader, Research School for Clinicians in Epidemiology
    ·2019, 2020, Seminar leader and examiner, Global Masters Programme in Global Health
    ·2019, Teaching assistant and examiner, Register-based research: Pharmacoepidemiology - drug use and safety
    ·2019, 2021, 2023, Lecturer, Basic Pharmacoepidemiology in a Global Context
    ·2019, 2021, 2022, 2024, Lecturer, Epidemiology I: Introduction to Epidemiology

    Additionally, I have supervised 4 students for their Term 8 Degree Project in Medicine, Medical Programme, and 3 students for their Degree Project in the Masters Programme in Public Health Sciences - Epidemiology.

Selected publications


All other publications


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 2023-2029
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, 2023-2024

Degrees and Education

  • Degree Of Doctor Of Philosophy, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, 2017


  • Silvia Segovia Chacón, Pharmacoepidemiological studies of medication use in reproductive-aged and pregnant women: focus on hypnotics and treatments for migraine,, 2023
  • Felix Wittström, Pharmacoepidemiological studies of medication use in pregnant women with bipolar disorder: polypharmacy, lithium discontinuation and clinical consequences,, 2022

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