Richelle Duque Björvang
Affiliated to research
I am a physician scientist with an extensive exposure to the clinical, experimental and epidemiological arenas. I like solving problems, figuring out solutions, and analyzing data. Aside from managing my own project by tackling four different cohorts for my epidemiological studies as well as performing in vitro experiments, I have also organized the KI “Experts explain” Zoom seminar series, held lectures at KI and KTH, and written for the KI blog. I also held a position as PhD student representative in the department and I was part of the steering committee of the KI Network Medicine Alliance. In my spare time, I do jigsaw puzzles, make arts and crafts, and take care of my plants. I am currently training to run 21K and finding what feels good by doing yoga.
I am passionate about reproductive and fetal medicine as well as women's health and have also recently gained interest in the field of mental health. I am well-versed on reproductive toxicology. I enjoy working in a collaborative, multi-cultural environment that promotes the construction of a stronger, more cohesive scientific community. I look forward to contributing towards high-quality research that improves the health and well-being of people all over the world.
Our modern, industrialized society has developed countless improvements for everyday life. Although these developments come with many benefits, they can also be accompanied by adverse effects to our health and the environment. One important example is exposure to industrial chemicals, which is now ubiquitous in day-to-day life. Some of these chemicals have been found to disrupt endocrine activity, and are thus named endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Studies of humans, wildlife populations, multiple experimental animal studies, and epidemiological cohorts show associations between EDC exposure and adverse health effects, making this a global health concern. Extensive lines of evidence have demonstrated detrimental effects of EDC exposure on male fertility, while their effects on reproductive health in women remain poorly understood. Currently, our study aims to identify EDCs that are associated with adverse effects on fertility in women in Sweden, elucidate transfer of chemicals from mother to the fetus, and investigate the effects and mechanisms of action of the identified chemicals on human ovarian folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis in vitro. Ultimately, we aim to provide a better understanding of the effects of EDCs on female reproductive health, making us a step closer towards protecting our future generations via more efficient legislations on chemicals.
Link to my PhD thesis: Fewer Kids: Not Always By Choice - The link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals and female reproductive health
2021 PhD in Reproductive Toxicology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
2016 Masters in Medical Science, Uppsala University, Sweden
2012 Doctor of Medicine, University of the Philippines - Manila, Philippines
2007 BSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Philippines
Academic honours, awards and prizes
Forskar Grand Prix, finalist (2021)
HERstory European competition, winner (2021)
Birgitta and Carl-Axel Rydbeck’s Research grant for Pediatric Research (2020)
Karolinska Institutet travel award for collaboration with University of Tokyo (2020)
Karolinska Institutet PhD travel grant (2020)
European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal testing 3R student grant (2018)
Karolinska Institutet PhD travel grant (2018)
Society for Reproduction and Fertility travel grant (2017)
Swedish Insitute Study Scholarship (2014-2016)
Magna cum laude (with great honors), BSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (2007)