Health risk assessment methodology – Anna Beronius' group

We conduct research with the aim to develop methodology for hazard and risk assessment of chemicals, with a focus on endocrine disruptors and chemical mixtures.

Research outline

Our research aims to contribute to the development of refined approaches to identify and assess human health risks from chemicals, with a focus on endocrine disruptors (EDs). Such methodologies must be up to date with scientific developments as well as aligned with regulatory requirements and needs, and much of our research takes place in the science-to-policy interface. A connected and highly important aspect is working towards bridging the gap between academic research and regulatory health risk assessment of chemicals.

Our main research activities are in the area of Next Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA) and implementation of New Approach Methodologies (NAM) in regulatory assessment of EDs and chemical mixtures. We specifically aim to develop methods that maximize the use of data on toxicological mechanisms from in vitro methods, and that can speed up the assessment process, improve reliability and human relevance, and reduce the need for animal testing. This work entails development of mechanism-based methodologies anchored in Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP), development of Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA), as well as development of systematic methodologies for Weight of Evidence (WoE) assessment to ensure robust evidence integration in risk assessment. We lead and are involved in several national and international research projects in this field.



A novel mechanism-based approach for assessment of developmental toxicity of endocrine disruptors (2021 – 2024)

The purpose of this project is to make use of mechanistic data from animal-free in silico and in vitro models to develop and evaluate a novel mechanism-based approach for the assessment of EDs. In this project we collaborate with researchers at Stockholm University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and combine methods, data and expertise from several ongoing projects and research activities. We are using AOP methodology to connect data on molecular and cellular mechanisms to health effects on the organism level that are relevant for humans. AOP-networks that describe different mechanisms for endocrine disruption leading to developmental toxicity are developed and used in case studies with specific model substances to investigate how mechanistic data can be used to draw conclusions about adverse health effects. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development – FORMAS. PI: Anna Beronius


PARC - European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (2022 – 2029)

PARC is a 7-year partnership funded under EU’s Horizon Europe framework program with around 200 different partners from 28 countries. PARC’s ambition is to support EU's Chemicals Strategy for sustainable development and the Green Deal by promoting the implementation of new methods for risk assessment of chemicals. We are involved in PARC projects that aim to develop AOP and IATA for ED effects, as well as developing methods to evaluate the reliability of in vitro data that can be used in the identification and assessment of EDs. PI at KI: Anna Beronius


MERLON - Merging scientific Evidence with Regulatory practices and Leveraging identification Of endocrine disruptors using New approach methodologies (2024 – 2028)

The objective of MERLON is to contribute to advancing EU regulation of EDs by providing insight to “novel” endocrine-related health effects that are currently less studied and developing NAMs and AOP-based methodologies to identify and assess EDs. An important aim is to bridge the gap between science and policy needed to advance regulatory decision making and reduce health impacts of EDs. MERLON is funded under Horizon Europe and coordinated by the Technical University of Denmark. PI at KI: Anna Beronius


PAN – Partnership to develop Adverse Outcome Pathways for endocrine disruptors (2022 – 2025)

PAN is a project funded by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) where we are partner together with the Danish Technical University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The aim of PAN is to develop AOPs and AOP networks that can aid regulatory agencies in the assessment of endocrine disruptors, for example by providing causal links between early molecular and cellular events and adverse health effects and a basis for development of new test methods. In PAN we focus on mammalian reproductive toxicity mediated by estrogen, androgen and steroidogenesis (EAS) modalities. PI at KI: Anna Beronius


SciRAP – Science in Risk Assessment and Policy

Together with researchers at Stockholm University we have developed the Science in Risk Assessment and Policy (SciRAP) project and online platform. Within SciRAP we have developed tools and guidance for structured and transparent evaluation of (eco)toxicity in vivo and in vitro data for use in hazard and risk assessment of chemicals. PI: Anna Beronius


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Members and contact

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Visiting address

Karolinska Institutet, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Nobels Väg 13, Stockholm, 17165, Sweden