Nele Brusselaers

Nele Brusselaers

Researcher | Docent
Visiting address: Widerströmska huset, hiss 1, plan 8 Tomtebodavägen 18A, 17177 Stockholm
Postal address: K6 Kvinnors och barns hälsa, K6 Barnonkologi och Barnkirurgi Wester Engstrand Lilja, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • Nele is a medical doctor and epidemiologist, specialised in clinical- and pharmaco-epidemiology. She is a senior researcher and associate professor, and has worked at Karolinska Institutet since 2012. 

  • Nele combines this with a position as Professor in Pharmaco-epidemiology at the Global Health Institute, at the University of Antwerp 
  • in Belgium (since end 2020). 
  • She has a broad interest and experience in different clinical topics
  • yet her current main focus is on long-term effects of commonly prescribed drugs on long-term health and the microbiome, with a focus on women's health, early life, cancer and infections. She has extensive experience in evidence synthesis methodologies (systematic reviews, meta-analyses etc. ), the Swedish Health Registries and various clinical and microbiome cohorts. 

  • Graduated PhD students:
    As main supervisor:

    • Eva Doorakkers (Karolinska Institutet, 2019)
    • Sam Van Slycke (Ghent University, 2020)
    • Robin Willaert (Ghent Universtiy, 2021)
    • Johanna Simin (Karolinska Institutet, 2021)
    • Qing Liu (Karolinska Institutet, 2023)

    As co-supervisor:

    • John Maret.Ouda (Karolinska Institutet, 2018)
    • Laurent Thierens (Ghent University, 2020)


  • Awarded research funding as prinicipal investigator:

    • SFO: Strategic Funding in Epidemiology (Karolinska Institutet): Young Scholar Grant (2014)
    • Julin funding (2014)
    • Bengt Ihres Fond (Svenska Läkaresällskapet) (2014, 2017, 2018)
    • KI fonder (2014-2019)
    • Svenska Läkaresällskapet (2015, 2018)
    • KID funding: Karolinska Insitutet delfinansiering för nya doktorander 
    • (2015)
    • Shizu Matsurais foundation (2017)
    • Gastroenterolgisk forskningsfond (2017, 2018)
    • Vetenskapsrådet (2020)
    • Vetenskapsrådet (2023)


  • Awarded research funding as co-applicant


    • KID funding: Karolinska Insitutet delfinansiering för nya doktorander
    • SIMSAM (Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and
      Medical Sciences) (2014-2018)
    • Alzheimerfonden (2018)
    • KI Stifeltsen (2018)
    • Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Technolica (CONICYT)
      (2018) - Romina Fornes - postdoc
    • Kronprinsessan Lovisas Förening För Barnasjukvård /Stifelsen Axel 
    • Tielmans (2019)
    • ALF (2020) 


    • Best European Abstract - European Burn Association (EBA- 2009)
    • Investigators award at the Congress of the Belgian Society of Internal Medicine (2010)
    • Best abstract - European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM – 2010)
    • Best abstract/4th best oral presentation (EBA - 2011).
    • Selected as representative from KI to attend the Global Young Scientist Summit in Singapore (2014)



  • Education/Career:

    • Master in Medicine (MD), Ghent University (Belgium), 2008.
    • PhD in Medical Sciences, Thesis: "Severe burn injury: Some determinants of epidemiological and surgical outcomes, Ghent University, Belgium, 2010.
    • Master in Hospital Hygiene and Infection Control, Ghent University, (Belgium), 2010.
    • Master in Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, (United Kingdom), 2015.
    • Docent in Clinical Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, 2015.
    • First post-doc: Dept of Internal medicine and Infectious diseases, Ghent,  
    • University, Belgium (2010-2012)
      * Second post-doc: Upper-gastrointestinal surgery, Dept of Molecular
      medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Insitutet (2012-2016)
    • Associate Professor / Senior Researcher 
    • (2016-2024) - Centre for Translational Microbiome Research, Dept. Microbiology, Tumour and Cellbiology, Karolinska Institutet
    • Associate Professor / Senior Researcher - Dept of Women's and Children's Health,  
    • Karolinska Institutet (2024-current)


  • I am the principal investigator of 5 large cohorts:
    - Chemoprevention of cancer cohort (aim: to assess the impact of commonly prescribed drugs on the development of cancer)
    - The Swedish Maternal Microbiome (SweMaMi) project (aim: to assess how the microbiome affects pregnancy outcomes and the health of the offspring)
    - Medication and the Maternal Microbiome (MediMami) project (aim: to assess the impact of commonly prescribed drugs during pregnancy, through potential microbiome alterations)
    - PCOS (Polycystic Ovary syndrome) project (aim: to assess the effects on health in the offspring of mothers with PCOS)
    - CDI project: /Clostridioides difficile/ infection [CDI], recurrence and mortality in Sweden: risk profiles, prescription drugs and burden.


  • Course organiser:
    - How to conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses (KI PhD course 2790),
    - Study design in clinical research (KI PhD course 1794), 2013-2015


  • Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at Karolinska Institutet, Antwerp University and Ghent University: including study design, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, pharmaco-epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, microbiome-epidemiology and other basic and advanced topics within
    epidemiology and clinical research.


All other publications



  • Researcher, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, 2024-

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2015

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