Division of Toxicology and Risk Assessment

Former organisational unit. 31/01/2015.


Organisation profile

The aim of the Division of Toxicology and Risk Assessment, National Food Institute is to prevent illness from toxic effects of chemical compounds in food and environment and to improve public health.

To do this the Division of Toxicology and Risk Assessment produces and uses knowledge on human health effects of natural and synthetic chemicals or GMOs present in food, environment or consumer products.

The division has a unique expertise in performing animal studies, in developing feed compositions, clinical observations and behavioural studies of animals, as well as in the disciplines of pathology, biochemistry and molecular biology - disciplines that are also employed in adjunction to cellular work. The animal facility is also used by other divisions at the National Food Institute and by other universities through collaboration.


Our research aims at understanding the mechanisms behind toxic and beneficial effects of compounds enabling us to predict human effects, to estimate potential combination effects and to choose the best models for investigating human effects.

The ambition is to use a multidisciplinary approach to toxicology using human, animal, in vitro as well as QSAR models to target a given research question, and secondly, using all available research results in risk assessment and modeling.

The research areas are:

  • Combination effects
  • Effects of endocrine disrupters
  • Food allergy
  • GMO
  • Novel foods
  • Cancer and genotoxicity

Alternatives to animal testing, so-called probalistic risk assessment, nanotoxicology, integrated risk-benefit evaluations, effects of natural toxins, as well as contributions to new risk assessment paradigms are also part of the research areas.

Public sector consultancy

Our research environment provides the necessary competences and expertise to provide science-based toxicological advice primarily for the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

The advice service covers a very broad field of human effects of synthetic and natural chemicals and genetically modified organisms as well as testing approaches.

Several researchers are internationally recognized by being appointed as scientific experts in regulatory bodies and advisory bodies. The national coordinator of OECD guidelines for human health is a member of the division.

High quality advice service is ensured by experts having state-of-the art knowledge as well as a good feeling for future needs within toxicology. On the other hand research and its impact on society benefits from the close relationship to the regulatory bodies making the research more applied.

Industrial collaboration

The Division of Toxicology and Risk Assessment collaborate with national and international companies working within our areas of expertise e.g. food ingredients.


Education and training of students is a growing field of expertise. We teach both national and international students and employees from industry and governmental organizations about toxicology.


University of Copenhagen, Århus University, University of Southern Denmark, Rigshospitalet, several industries


Head of Division Christine Lydia Nellemann


Contact information

Mørkhøj Bygade 19
  • Phone: (+45) 72 34 70 00
  • Fax: 8+45) 3588 7001
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  • Toxicology Letters

    ISSNs: 0378-4274, 03784274

    Elsevier Ireland Ltd, Ireland

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 1, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Food and Chemical Toxicology

    ISSNs: 0278-6915, 02786915

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1873-6351

    Pergamon, United Kingdom

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 1, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Reproductive Toxicology

    ISSNs: 0890-6238, 08906238

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1873-1708

    Elsevier Inc., United States

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 2, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database




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