Research description

Occupational toxicology and risk assessment

Johan Högberg is chairman for the Swedish Criteria Group which produces risk assessment documents used for setting legally binding occupational exposure limits in Sweden.

Current projects involve the development of sensitive endpoints in the p53/Mdm2 network for certain types of DNA damages and for mixtures of compounds and mixtures of tumor initiators and tumor promoters such as TCDD and PCBs. We also study rapid changes in the Akt signaling pathway and how knowledge about this pathway can be utilized for the development of cancer preventive strategies in e.g. the prostate.

In international collaboration we develop methods for integrated risk assessment and risk assessment of complex mixtures. Ongoing projects involve an analysis of cancer deaths classified as work related. Our question is how often these cancers can be attributed to a single chemical or to a complex mixture of chemicals. We also develop simplified models for rapid screening of risks associated with the use of chemicals.


  • Arbetslivsinstitutet
  • EUs 6:e ramprogram (INTARESE)
  • EUs 6:e ramprogram (ATHON)
  • AFA
  • FAS

Research group

  • Ilona Silins, Assistant Professor
  • Lauy Al-Anati, Postdoc
  • Erica Miraglia, Postdoc

Five selected publications

Högberg J, Hanberg A, Berglund M, Skerfving S, Remberger M, Calafat AM, Filipsson AF, Jansson B, Johansson N, Appelgren M, Håkansson H.

Phthalate diesters and their metabolites in human breast milk, blood or serum, and urine as biomarkers of exposure in vulnerable populations.

Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Mar;116(3):334-9


Mistafa O, Högberg J, Stenius U.

Statins and ATP regulate nuclear pAkt via the P2X7 purinergic receptor in epithelial cells.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Jan 4;365(1):131-6. Epub 2007 Oct 31.


Malmlöf M, Roudier R, Högberg J, Stenius U

MEK-ERK-mediated phosphorylation of Mdm2 at Ser 166 in hepatocytes; Mdm2 is activated in response to inhibited Akt signaling

J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 26;282(4):2288-96


Pääjärvi G, Viluksela M, Pohjanvirta R, Stenius U and Högberg J. (2005)

TCDD modulates Mdm2 expression and alters the p53 response to DNA damage.

Carcinogenesis, 26, 201-208.


Malmlöf M, Pääjärvi G, Högberg J and Stenius U. (2008)

Mdm2 as a sensitive and mechanistically informative marker for genotoxicity induced by benzo[a]pyrene and dibenzo[a,l]pyrene.

Toxicological Sciences, 102, 232-240.