Elin Törnqvist

Affiliated to Research
Telephone: +46852488517
Visiting address: Nobels väg 13, 17177 STOCKHOLM
Postal address: C6 Institutet för miljömedicin, C6 Integrativ toxikologi Öberg, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am a specialist at the Institute of Environment Medicine, Department of
    Integrative Toxicology where I do research/communication projects and
    teaching. My engagement is within the field of the 3Rs (Replace, Reduce,
    Refine). The principles of the 3Rs means replacing animal models in research
    with non-animal based methods, as well as improving animal models with fewer
    animals and increased animal welfare. Since 2017 I am a member of the Swedish
    3Rs center’s steering board and the National Committee for the protection
    of Animals used for Scientific Purposes.
    I have a background as a veterinarian, with many years of experience in
    animal welfare and legislation from different sectors and especially when it
    comes to ethical use of animals for scientific purposes. My research carrier
    started in the field of immunology at the Swedish University of Agriculture
    followed by a post doc at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease
    Control. In my research projects, I combined mechanistic studies in cell
    models with explorative studies in pigs, mice and children to increase the
    understanding of development of immunological memory after vaccination.
    My interest and engagement for translation and extrapolations between
    different research models and between species and the 3Rs grew further as I
    was employed at the Safety Assessment unit at AstraZeneca R&
  • D, Södertälje,
    Sweden. I was responsible for the 3R organisation at the unit, which gave me
    valuable management experience regarding internal development, testing and
    implementation of 3R-ideas in the frame of regulatory toxicity testing of
    pharmaceuticals. I continued this work as a specialist at Swetox, a national
    research center consisting of eleven Swedish universities, where I managed
    Swetox 3R-platform combined with 3R teaching and research.
    PhD in Veterinary Medicine, Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) 2002
    ”Effects of Immunostimulatory DNA in the pig – Induction of
    immunoregulatory cytokines by plasmid DNA, virus or bacteria”
    Licensed Veterinarian, D.V.M., Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) 1995


  • My research is focused on modern methods for Replacement, Reduction and
    Refinement of animal-based research models. All 3Rs are included in my
    research today: studying 3R awareness in different target groups and research
    areas (mainly Replacement), development of methods to improve study design in
    toxicity testing and to increase scientific outcome with fewer research
    objects (Reduction), and development of new handling methods for rodents used
    in research (Refinement).
    Current research projects as main project leader:
    * New animal-free methods to meet the need for safe chemicals (PI: Elin
    Törnqvist, Karolinska Institutet, (Financial support: Formas)
    * Attitudes to the 3Rs in Animal Welfare Bodies at eight Swedish
    * Understanding and attitudes to the 3Rs in students at the Master's
    programme in toxicology
    Other research projects
    * Alternative methods for developmental toxicity testing (PI: Ylva
    Sjunnesson, Swedish University of Agriculture
  • Financial support: Swedish
    Research Council)
    * Experimental design aligned with dose-response modelling as a means for 3R
    in toxicity testing (PI: Mattias Öberg, Karolinska Institutet
  • Financial
    support: Swedish Research Council)
    * Group housing of male mice (Project owner and financial support: The
    Swedish 3Rs Center)
    * Enkätundersökning om attityd och förståelse gällande 3R hos forskare
    på Karolinska Institutet (Project owner: Karolinska Institutet, Animal
  • Financial support: Torvald och Britta Gahlins stiftelse för
    stöd av vetenskaplig forskning som kan bidra till att förfina, minska
    och ersätta djurförsök)


  • I do different types of education / communication activities (lectures,
    seminars, workshops, group activities) for bachelor and master students, and
    for technicians, veterinarians, researchers, mangers at laboratory animal
    facilities at universities and private organisations. Other target groups are
    high schools, politicians, authorities and general public.
    The research council Formas has supported two of my communication projects
    for Replacement of animal models in toxicity testing aiming at increasing
    awareness and use of non-animal based methods in risk assessment. Within
    these projects illustrations and films are produced on the Replacement theme
    for use in both teaching and communication.
    I am involved in national strategic projects for education and communication
    in the Swedish 3Rs Center’s steering board and the National Committee for
    the protection of Animals used for Scientific Purposes.
    There is certainly a need to increase awareness of the 3Rs and development
    and implementation of modern methods that Replace, Reduce and Refine animal
    models used in research and teaching today. Since development of modern
    methods has been substantial recent years, there is a lack of teaching
    material that is up to date within the 3R area.


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