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About me

With a PhD in Medical Sciences (Toxicology) and extensive experience in Environmental Monitoring,  I am currently working at the Unit of Biochemical Toxicology, the Institute of Environmental Medicine. The unit performs studies to understand the connection between chemicals and cancer. We employ Text mining-based approach  for the analyses of databases and cellular models to study the mechanisms behind chemically-induced cancer. 


PhD (Medical Sciences)

MSc (Biochemistry)

Research description

Identification of potential hazards posed by environmental contaminants through toxicological and mechanistic studies, in parallel with epidemiological studies is very important in order to establish a link between exposure and human diseases. The main focus of my research projects are; 

  • Use of text mining-based CRAB tool to aid in the process of risk assessment. 
  • to characterize and investigate the role of oxidative stress in cancer susceptibility differences between men and women 
  • to semantically classify the scientific literature according to Hallmarks of Cancer and literature-based discoveries

Teaching portfolio

In addition to research activity, I am also course leader involved in coordinating and lecturing the students of International Master Program in Toxicology, at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. 

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Awardee of NSERC Fellowship for postdoctoral studies in Health Canada 2014 

Awardee of HEC Overseas Scholarship for Postgraduate studies 2007-2011 




Selected Publications

Baker S, Ali I, Silins I, Pyysalo S, Guo Y, Högberg J, Stenius U, Korhonen A (2017). Cancer Hallmarks Analytics Tool (CHAT): A text mining approach to organise and evaluate scientific literature on cancer. Bioinformatics. .

Ali I*, Julin B, Glynn A, Högberg J, Berglund M, Johansson JE, Andersson SO, Andrén O, Giovannucci E, Wolk A, Stenius U and Åkesson A (2016). Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and prostate cancer: population-based prospective cohort and experimental studies. Carcinogenesis. 37(12):1144-1151. doi: 
Ali I*, Högberg J, Hsieh JH, Auerbach S, Korhonen A, Stenius U and Silin I (2016). Gender differences in cancer susceptibility: role of oxidative stress. Carcinogenesis. 37(10):985-92. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgw076  

Ali I*, Hurmerinta T, Nurmi T, Berglund M, Rüegg J, Poutanen M, Halldin K, Mäkelä S, Damdimopoulou P (2016). Effect of diets containing cadmium and lignans on estrogen, epidermal growth factor receptor, and mitogen activated protein kinase signalling in mice. Toxicology Letters. 253:27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2016.04.020

Ali I*, Guo Y, Silins I, Högberg J, Stenius U, Korhonen A (2015). Grouping chemicals for health risk assessment:  A text mining-based case study of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Toxicology Letters. 241:32-7. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2015.11.003

Bakar S*, Silins I, Guo Y, Ali I, Högberg J, Stenius U, Korhonen A (2015). Semantic Classification of Scientific Literature According to the Hallmarks of Cancer. Bioinformatics.32(3):432-40. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btv585.  

Ali I*, Damdimopoulou P, Stenius U and Halldin K (2015). Cadmium at nanomolar concentrations activates Raf-MEK-ERK1/2 MAPKs signaling via EGFR in human cancer cell lines. Chemico-Biological Interactions. 231: 44-52. 

Ali I, Engström A, Vahter M, Skerfving S, Thomas L, Lidfeldt J, Samsioe G, Halldin K, Åkesson A* (2014). Associations between cadmium and serum levels of sex hormones in postmenopausal women. Environmental Res. 134:265-269. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2014.08.009

Ali I*, Damdimopoulou P, Stenius U, Adamsson A, Mäkelä SI, Åkesson A, Berglund M, Håkansson H and Halldin K* (2012). Cadmium-induced effects on cellular signaling pathways in the liver of transgenic estrogen reporter mice. Toxicol. Sci. 127(1):66-75.

Ali I, Penttinen-Damdimopoulou PE, Stenius U, Mäkelä SI, Berglund M, Åkesson A, Håkansson H and Halldin K (2010). Estrogen-Like Effects of Cadmium in vivo do not appear to be mediated via the classical Estrogen Receptor transcriptional pathway. Environ Health Perspect; 118:1389-1394.

* Corresponding author

Thesis Publications

PhD thesis: Imran Ali. Modulation of Hormone Signaling by Cadmium: From Molecular Mechanism to Health Implications. ISBN 9789175493145, Stockholm 2013.