Marike Kolossa-Gehring – German Environment Agency (UBA), Coordinator of HBM4EU

Opening – 27 April – 9:05 am CEST

With HBM4EU, a pioneering research network has been created that lays the foundation for the long-term establishment of Human Biomonitoring in Europe.

By taking into account the expectations and needs of policy makers at national and EU level and all stakeholders from the beginning, it has been possible to build a powerful Human Biomonitoring network encompassing all major players in the field of HBM, thus enabling a close dialogue between the scientific community and EU agencies.

A key strength of the HBM4EU is the systematic way of working and the wide range of expertise and effective collaboration of all involved working areas, which ultimately enables qualified policy advice. What this collaboration looks like in practice will be illustrated in the presentation by the work on plasticizers.

That HBM4EU is a success is shown by the numerous results already achieved and the consultations in the field of chemicals policy to which HBM4EU has made important contributions, such as the assessment of plasticizers, perfluorinated substances or mixture effects, to name a few.

The results of HBM4EU clearly demonstrate the need for action in chemical regulation.

In this conference opening, HBM4EU Coordinator Marike Kolossa-Gehring will provide an overview of the key achievements, challenges and lessons learned from this successful large-scale research project.


Dr. Marike Kolossa-Gehring is biologist and toxicologist and got her PhD from the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany. Her research focusses on toxicology and human biomonitoring (HBM). She joined the German Environment Agency (UBA) in 1992 where she worked on environmental impacts on human health, general and international affairs of environmental chemicals regulation, toxicology and as head of the section “Pharmaceuticals, Washing- and Cleansing Agents”.

She is Head of Section “Toxicology, Health-related Environmental Monitoring” and coordinator of the European Joint Programme HBM4EU, a joint effort of more than 120 partners from 30 countries, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, co-funded under Horizon 2020. At the UBA she is in charge of managing the German Federal Human Biomonitoring Program consisting of German Environmental Survey (GerES), the part on human samples of the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB), the German Human Biomonitoring Commission, and the HBM cooperation between the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

She was involved in the development of assessment strategies and guidelines at the national, EU and OECD level, vice-chair and chair of the OECD Endocrine Disruptor Testing and Assessment Task Force from 2006 to 2010. She was Work Package Leader in the EU HBM projects ESBIO, DEMOCOPHES and COPHES, the Consortium to Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale preparing and piloting a European human biomonitoring study. From 2011 to 2014 she was Governmental Councillor of the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES). Since 2020 she is member of the Fraunhofer IBMT Advisory Board.


The HBM4EU project was launched in 2016 with the aim of improving the collective understanding of human exposure to hazardous chemicals and developing HBM as an exposure assessment method. The project had €74m in funding and jointly implemented by 120 partners from 28 participating countries – 24 EU member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Israel and the European Environment Agency. One of its aims was to ensure the sustainability of HBM in the EU beyond 2021. The project ended in June 2022. The website will not be updated any longer, except the page on peer reviewed publications, but will be online until 2032.