About me

I am Docent, Assistant Professor and group leader, as well as a biostatistician and cancer epidemiologist. I have research interests in cancer epidemiology, reproductive factors, applied statistics and register-based research.

My group includes Dr Frida Lundberg and doctoral students Leo Gkekos and Katrín Gunnarsdóttir.

I am Visiting Researcher at the Cancer Registry of Norway leading projects on breast cancer using population-based cancer data. I am also project manager and co-leader of two large Nordic research projects: i) Nordic cancer and COVID-19 project and ii) the NORDCAN Survival Studies.

I have collaborations with clinical researchers at Karolinska University Hospital, Capio St Göran and Uppsala University Hospital.

Postdoctoral periods included the Cancer Registry of Norway (2017-2018) and Karolinska Institutet (2018-2020).

Research description

Research on cancer and pregnancy.
My primary research interest is cancer in relation to pregnancy and reproductive history, with a special focus on pregnancy-associated cancer, i.e. cancer diagnosed during or within one or two years after a pregnancy. The research questions I am addressing concern the increasing incidence trend, risk patterns before and after delivery, tumour characteristics and survival. I also study other reproductive factors, such as age at births, number of children, infertility and IVF treatment, in relation to cancer risk and prognosis.

Due to improvements in cancer treatments, the number of young cancer survivors is increasing. It is important to evaluate their possibilities to form families after end of treatment. One of my research aims is therefor to study reproductive potential and fertility after cancer, both by clinical factors and by previous reproductive history.


Research on breast cancer.
My second research interest is breast cancer among women. I am specifically studying how survival has improved over time, and how it depends on patient, tumour and treatment factors. One of my projects relates to identifying predictors for long-term survival, given that breast cancer patients have an increased relapse risk many years after diagnosis. I am also interested in identifying subgroups of patients at particular high risk for recurrence and treatment complications, in particular after accounting for differences in age, comorbidity and socioeconomic status.

Since 2017, I am affiliated with the Cancer Registry in Norway. I am also using Swedish Breast Cancer Quality Registry data to address these questions.


Nordic research.
Nordic cancer registries are a goldmine to cancer epidemiology with nationwide coverage of a population of more than 27 million. In collaboration with cancer researchers from Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, I am leading and co-leading three large Nordic cancer research efforts on i) pregnancy and cancer, ii) cancer and COVID-19 and iii) cancer survival across the Nordic countries.


Current doctoral students: Leo Gkekos, MEB/KI (main supervisor), Katrín Gunnarsdóttir (main supervisor), Amelia Chiorescu, MMK/KI (co-supervisor), Yihang Liu, MMK/KI (co-supervisor). 

Previous doctoral students: Roxanna Hellgren, MEB/KI (co-supervisor), Chen Wang, MEB/KI (co-supervisor), Cecilia Radkiewicz, MEB/KI (co-supervisor), Frida Lundberg, MEB/KI (co-supervisor).

Postdocs: Frida Lundberg, MEB/KI (main supervisor).


Methods for register-based epidemiology

As a statistician and epidemiologist, I am particularly interested in finding the best way to utilize register data to estimate disease risks in the population, for example by clever study designs and statistical methods for register-based research.

In my research I utilize the large Swedish population-based health registers available for research. These unique data sources can be used to answer many questions in way that is impossible in many other countries. In some of my research projects, I develop new methodology and study designs to be able to answer our questions.


Research documentation and Data management

The quality of research is highly dependent on the quality of the underlying data. I have worked effortlessly for many years to improve the procedures for research documentation and data management within research projects at KI. This includes everything from standardized variable lists and codes, commented and structure statistical programming, version control to documentation of research projects and ethical approvals.

I have been leading the development of research documentation guidelines in our department, as well as teaching hands-on techniques for research documentation to epidemiologists, clinicians and researchers at KI and elsewhere. I am regularly an invited speaker on this topic.

A video of my lecture 2018-11-22 at the KI Library Workshop is available at the link below or in the menu to the right. Slides for this presentation are available on request anna.johansson@ki.se





Teaching portfolio

I have been involved in teaching and course organising of:

• Survival analysis (biostat III), within the Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology

• Epidemiology II, within the Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology

• Competing risks and multistate models

• Epidemiological designs in a statistical framework

• Workshops on epidemiological designs and cancer survival analysis

• Good Data Management Practice in Epidemiology

• Guidelines for Data Management in Clinical Research


  • 2016 - PhD (Medical Sciences), KI
  • 1999 - MSc (Mathematical statistics), Stockholm University