Lars Björndahl

Affiliated to research

Specialist in laboratory medicine (Clinical Chemistry). Worked with standardization, training and quality control concerning human ejaculate examination since 1994.

About me

Ph.D: in reproductive physiology with a thesis 1986: On sperm nuclear zinc and chromatin decondensation : an in vitro study on the physiology of the ejaculated human spermatozoon. Stockholm, Karolinska Institutet.

Active in the build of a new andrology laboratory at Karolinska University Hospital since 1987. Head of this laboratory as part of ANOVA since 2013.

Consultant Advisor in Laboratory Andrology since 1995.

Research Fellow and honorary Senior Lecturer in Human Reproductive Biology, University of Birmingham and the Assisted Conception Unit,, Birmingham Women's Health Care Trust, 2001-2005

Senior Consultant Physician at the Andrology Laboratory, Centre for Andrology and Sexual Medicine (later ANOVA), from 2010.

Organizer of the ESHRE Campus Course on Sperm Chromatin Stability (Stockholm 2009)

Chairman of the Organizing Committee and Host of the XIIIth International Symposium on Spermatology (Stockholm 2018).

Earlier Scientific Commissions:

  • 2004-08: Co-ordinator of the ESHRE Special Interest Group in Andrology.
  • 2010-14: Associate Editor of Human Reproduction.
  • 2005-2010: Member of Editorial Board of WHO manual on human semen examination, 5th edition

Present Scientific Commissions:

  • Associate Editor of Human Reproduction Update
  • Associate Editor of  Andrology
  • Editorial Board Member Asian Journal of Andrology
  • Project Leader: ISO Technical Standard for human semen examination
  • Editor in Chief - Editorial Board of WHO manual on human semen examination, 6th edition
  • Expert (Laboratory Andrology) in WHO Infertility Global Guidelines and Research Group 
  • Chairman Technical Committe 331, Swedish Institute for Standards (



Research description

Starting out with investigations on the zinc dependence of human sperm head-tail connection my Ph.D. project focused on the zinc dependent chromatin stabilization, concluding that the environment spermatozoa were expelled in determined the status of the sperm chromatin stability. Early loss of zinc (to binders originating from the seminal vesicular fluid) induced an initially decreased stability that was rapidly exchanged for an extreme stability, that would jeopardize the rapid unravelling of the chromaitn in the oocyte potentially causing failure of zygote development after fertilization. The relation between zinc rich prostatic fluid and potential negative influence of seminal vesicular fluid has been further investigated.

Co-supervisor of Dr Emma Holmes has shown the huge increase in semen osmolality in ejaculates kept in vitro and the relation to rapid deterioration of sperm motility during clinical relevant preparation for Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

Supervisor of Dr Petr Houska whos project focuses on sperm DNA abnormalities as (sperm DNA fragmentation) measured by Flow Cytometry of sperm DNA stained with Acridine Orange in order to distinguish between single stranded and double stranded DNA. This test is widely used in commercial IVF centres, but the clinical value for the individual patient is very limited since many unknown factors influence the result of individual patients. The Ph.D. project includes experimental studies to evaluate factors besides actual DNA damages that can have significant effect on the final result of the sperm DNA fragmentation test.

My own studies in recent years have focused on the establishment of modern laboratory medicine techniques for reliable results from ejaculate examinations.

Teaching portfolio

Extensive experience from teaching physiology and most aspects of basic medicine to different categories of students. Since 1995 involved in development of standardized training courses on WHO and ESHRE recommended techniques for reliable analysis of human semen.

Course-leader and teacher SVK Andrologi och Sexualmedicin (KI 2020-) and teacher SVK Sexualmedicin (KI 2020)


M.D. 1982; Ph.D. 1986 (Karolinska Institutet). Swedish Licence as Physician 1990, Specialist in Clinical Chemistry 1992


Academic honours, awards and prizes

Hon Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine, University of Birmingham, 2003-2005.

Associate Editor, Human Reproduction 2010-14; twice awarded "top-ten" reviewer of manuscripts for Human Reproduction,

Member of editorial committees of Andrology and Asian Journal of Androloy.

Conference Grant (Swedish Research Council): Sperm Chromatin structure and stability (2009)

Conference Grant (Swedish Research Council): XIIIth International Symposium on Spermatology (2018)