The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Meet our new vice coordinator of EpiHealth, Christel Nielsen

Christel Nielsen. Photo

Associate professor Christel Nielsen who works at the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Lund University has been appointed vice coordinator of the strategic research area EpiHealth.

- EpiHealth is one of the reasons why I chose to move from Uppsala to do research at Lund University. The EpiHealth cohort and Swedish registers contain vast amounts of data and provide a unique foundation for excellent research. The strategic research areas bring different disciplines such as medicine, biology, technology, or psychology, together and offer a framework for working across the boundaries of the traditional disciplines, explains Christel. She continues,

-The social security numbers in the Scandinavian countries are unique and make it possible to do cross-linkage of different registers to find information about the health and lifestyle of individuals. I have been engaged in epidemiological research for many years and am currently trying to clarify the health effects of tattoos and exposure to environmental contaminants, primarily perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that are manufactured chemicals that break down very slowly in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. Cross-linkage between different registers, in combination with data collection on the field, is an important feature of my research, says Christel.

-Since epidemiological research often touches upon other research areas it is important that we expand the EpiHealth network to help us improve multidisciplinary cooperation and cutting-edge research. We need to be aware of what is happening in the world of science and remember to build bridges to the surrounding society to make sure that our research is of interest also to the public, and not only to academia. We also need to attract motivated students and skilled epidemiological researchers to come and work for Lund university.

We continue the interview by asking Christel how Lund university can build bridges to public society. -We need to interact with the public and organize open events such as “Research Day 2022” or “Scientific lunches” that invite the public to engage in scientific research. It is an excellent opportunity for Lund university to inform about ongoing and future research initiatives and to demonstrate how public funding is used to benefit public health.

-At the same time, we should organize events for Ph.D. students to increase the awareness of epidemiological research and help students build networks with other students and researchers. Epidemiologic research methodology needs to be an integral part of Ph.D. education so that students get the proper tools to design high-quality studies and to critically evaluate the research that is already out there.

We close the interview by asking Christel about her perspectives on future epidemiological research. -The new generation of epidemiologists will need to tackle broader and more diverse research questions; they must apply new methods and gain skills across disciplines. As senior researchers, we have an important role to play in the training and shaping the future collegium, both in terms of scientific excellence and multi-disciplinary collaboration skills. The pandemic has taught us how important it is for research to be agile without compromising research integrity.  To achieve this, collaboration is key!