Date of birth: 18 April 1965
Senior Scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division for Environmental Medicine, Department of Food, Water and Cosmetics.
Cand. Scient (Master of Science) 1991, Toxicology, at the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Medical Faculty, University in Trondheim, now merged into Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
PhD in Biochemistry 1998 at University in Oslo, performed at Department of Environmental and Occupational Cancer, The Norwegian radium Hospital, Norway
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404 Nydalen, N – 0403, Oslo, Norway
Phone work: +47 21076385
Mobile phone: +47 97644459,
Scientific and professional background
I received my MSc degree in toxicology in 1991, and the PhD degree i biochemistry in 1998. I have more than 20 years of experience within the scientific field of biochemistry and experimental toxicology, and in risk assessment and advisory work in food safety for national and international bodies like the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In 2008 I was qualified for a full professorship in toxicology and food safety.
Key research area
My main area of research the last years has been to study the potentially harmful contaminants produced during heating of food, and their reactivity towards DNA and carcinogenic effect in the intestine of rodents. Of special interest is the importance of metabolising enzymes in the activation of contaminants into reactive metabolites, where human activation might be more pronounced than in rodents. The use of transgenic animals with human enzymes has been used to mimic the human activation, to evaluate if humans can be more sensitive to the contaminants that rodents. I have also published several papers on risk assessment of compounds from food, where new methods in risk assessment has been included, such as risk-benefit, benchmark dose response, weight-of-evidence approach and uncertainty evaluation in hazard characterisation. The development and use of new experimental models and methods in toxicology has been of special interest in the research area, and is the main focus of the future research projects.
Risk assessment experience
I have more than 16 years of experience in the risk assessment in the area of contaminants and food safety, both nationally and internationally. I have been involved in evaluation of substances such as additives, flavours, food contact materials and food contaminants. During the last 16 years I have achived extensive knowledge of the methods used for risk assessment and have participated in developing and use new methods to accommodate the increasing demands in this field of science. I have been chairing several risk assessments both nationally and internationally, and recently chaired the large risk assessment of bisphenol A (BPA) in European Food Safety Authorities (EFSA), where total exposure from all sources and routes of exposure was assessed for the first time. This risk assessment also used new methods in modelling (Physiological based pharmacokinetic- PBPK) to assess the difference in metabolism of BPA between rodents and humans. Through advisory work I have been responsible for performing benchmark dose modelling to characterise the dose-response relationship from animal studies in several risk assessment.
Membership in national and international committees
2004 – 2018: Member of the Scientific Committee for Food Safety in Norway (Vitenskapskomiteen for Mattrygghet, VKM) in the Panel on additives, flavourings, processing aids, food contact materials and cosmetics.
2003 – 2018: Vice chair of the flavouring working group of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
2008 – 2018: Member of the Panel on food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing aids (CEF) in EFSA.
2009 – 2010: Chair of the EFSA risk assessment “Evaluation of the dietary developmental neurotoxicity study of Bisphenol A in rats by Stump (2009)”
2009 – 2010: Chair of the VKM working group on risk assessment of cumarin
2010 – 2012: Chair of the VKM working group on risk assessment of furan
2012 – 2014: Chair of the EFSA working group on risk assessment of BPA
2016 – 2016: Chair of the EFSA working group on risk assessment of BPA and immunotoxicity
2018 – 2019: Chair of the VKM working group on butylhydroxide (BHT)
2018 – now: Chair of the Panel on additives, flavourings, processing aids, food contact materials and cosmetics of the Scientific Committee for Food Safety in Norway (VKM).
2018 – now: Member of the Panel on food additives and flavourings (FAF) in EFSA.
2018 – now: Vice chair of the working group on the re-evaluation of sweeteners in EFSA.
Successful grant applications
Several of the research projects where I have been the project leader or been involved has been granted by the Research Council of Norway; “Thermolysis of carbohydrates and intestinal cancer risk” (175157), “Substituted furans: A novel group of food processing contaminants and their influence on intestinal cancer development and human health risk” (204487), “Glycotoxins from food and their impact on widespread lifestyle diseases (213249),
Recently an EU project “European Test and Risk assessment Strategies for Mixtures (EuroMix)” were granted by Horizon2020, where I am a leader of WP7 “Validation and extrapolation to humans”.
Supervision of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows
I have been the supervisor of 7 master students and 3 PhD students, and has also been supervising several laboratory apprentices.
Experience and education in leadership
I have been project leader of several research projects at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and has chaired several national and international working groups in risk assessment. I also have education in leadership through the courses “Practical project leadership” at Norwegian University of Science and Technology 2011, and “Transformational leadership” at BI Norwegian School of Management 2010.
Membership of scientific societies
- Member of European Society of Toxicology and European registered Toxicologist
- Member of Society of Toxicology (SOT)
2014: Invited speaker at the 50st Congress of the European Society of Toxicology, September, Edinburgh, UK.
2015: Invited speaker 4th International Fresenius Conference “Residues of Food Contact Materials in Food”, March, Cologne, Germany.
2015: Invited speaker at Nordic seminar on exposure from multiple sources, May 19 – 20, 2015, Oslo
2015: Invited speaker at the 51st Congress of the European Society of Toxicology, September, Porto, Portugal
2019: Invited speaker to The International Societies of Exposure Science (ISES), August 18-22, 2019, Kaunas, Lithuania
For the last 16 years I have been an invited speaker to a number of national meetings and conferences.