Phone: +46 (0)31 786 9109
Visiting address: Kemigården 4 (the Chalmers area), room 9015
As a pharmacist by training, I have always been interested in the area of chemistry, medicine, and biology. Our skin can be seen as the battle field between chemistry and biology. We are always attacked from chemicals in the environment to which we try to defend ourselves. The epidermis, only 0.05 – 0.5 mm thick, has a tremendous challenge. The challenge has not decreased but rather increased by the many new chemicals produced every year, many of which are in close and repeated contact with the skin. Therefore, chemistry is of utmost importance to really understand why one molecule causes skin sensitization while another does not. With my experience and contacts from the field of occupational dermatology and clinical immunology I have managed to successfully introduce the thoughts and work of medicinal chemistry into contact allergy research. Co-operation with the dermatologists at the dermatology clinics is natural and a prerequisite for the clinical relevance of our work. We are especially working together with the dermatologists at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.
As professor and head of the group of Dermatochemistry I am fortunate to work with colleges skilled in different research areas important for the research. My special research areas are (click the link for more information):
Activation of contact allergens via autoxidation or skin metabolism
My interest in different aspects of skin exposure from the environment has been a driving force in starting “The Centre for Skin Research” at the University of Gothenburg. This centre is unique by including all types of researchers in a truly joint work on different aspects of skin allergy and cancer. It engages young researchers mostly women in areas (chemistry and physics) where those are very few at higher levels. For further information: http://www.skin.org.gu.se/english
I am responsible for two unique courses in Dermatochemistry given on a yearly basis. These courses are included in the education of pharmacists on different levels but are also open for applicants in Sweden and abroad as no corresponding courses are given world wide. The courses answer questions such as:
o Why are people allergic to chemicals in their environment?
o What is happening in the skin when we apply transdermal delivery systems?
o Are all preservatives allergenic?
o Can natural products cause eczema?
o Is it possible to tell whether a compound will cause eczema by looking at its chemical structure?
o How can we treat eczema?
o What is happening from an allergenic perspective when a skin care product gets old?
o Is it possible that a non-allergenic compound can turn into an allergenic in the skin?
Another aspect of my engagement in the field of contact allergy and allergic contact dermatitis is that I really feel that what I am doing is important to many people in our society. About 20% of the normal adult population in Europe suffers from contact allergy to one or more chemicals in their environment and 1-2 % of these have ongoing eczema. Studies have shown that eczema in the face and on the hands has a great impact on the social life.
I am therefore engaged within different aspects of the preventive health work of the European Union:
o Member of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety – WG on Sensitisation and Fragrances within European Commission, Health and Consumer Directorate-General
o Member of the European Committee for Standardization CEN/TC 347, Methods for analysis of allergens (EU)
o Member of the Swedish Contact Dermatitis Group
Furthermore, I am Coordinator of the Centre for Skin Research at the University of Gothenburg (SkinResGU) which includes researchers from the Faculties of Science and Medicine (Sahlgrenska Academy).