Randi J. Bertelsen, MSc PhD, is a researcher at the Department of Clinical Science at the University of Bergen. She has a background within evolutionary biology and ecology (MSc) from the University of Bergen and from Environmental Medicine and Epidemiology from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and University of Oslo (PhD). In 2010 she received Voksentoppen Research Award within paediatric allergology and pulmonology awarded for outstanding research within paediatric respiratory medicine and allergology. In 2018 she received Kronprins Haakons research award for asthma and allergy. Her research interests are focused on environmental exposure, microbiome and asthma and allergy. Her Young Research Talent grant (RCN-funded) focused on exposure to antibacterial chemicals, oral microbiome and lung health. Bertelsen is currently PI for two large 5-year research projects with funding from the Research Council of Norway (BetterHealth-program) from 2018 to 2023 and the European Research Council (ERC); starting grant project "BRuSH" (2019-2023). The topic of her ongoing research concerns how bacteria that produce particularly potent proinflammatory lipid As (the component responsible for inflammation in the host) affects lung health and disease over time.
Bertelsen is currently PI and biobank manager for RHINESSA Bergen (www.rhinessa.net). Bertelsen is also affiliated with the Oral Health Center of Expertise (TK Vest Hordaland), and with Dept of Occupational Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital. She is appointed member in the National Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics (NEM) by the Ministry of Education and Research, Associate editor of International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. Bertelsen is member of the Management Committee for COST Action CA18131 (2019-2023): Statistical and machine learning techniques in human microbiome studies, and member of the Scientific advisory board of the Leibniz ScienceCampus Evolutionary Medicine of the Lung (EVOLUNG) http://evolung.fz-borstel.de/
Bertelsen has a successful track record for research funding with a Research Council of Norway (RCN) Personal Postdoctoral Grant, U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation for Educational Exchange Fellowship, the Norwegian Asthma- and Allergy Foundation, RCN Young Research Talent grant, RCN Research Project from 2017 (BEDREHELSE), and ERC Starting Grant 2018.
- 2020. Parents’ smoking onset before conception as related to body mass index and fat mass in adult offspring: Findings from the RHINESSA generation study. PLOS ONE. 1-20.
- 2020. Associations of preconception exposure to air pollution and greenness with offspring asthma and hay fever. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). 1-14.
- 2019. Prevalence of allergic sensitization to storage mites in Northern Europe. Clinical and Experimental Allergy.
- 2019. Is atopic sensitization associated with indicators of early vascular ageing in adolescents? PLOS ONE. 1-11.
- 2019. Epigenome-wide association of father's smoking with offspring DNA methylation: a hypothesis-generating study. Environmental Epigenetics. 10 pages.
- 2019. Dampness, mould, onset and remission of adult respiratory symptoms, asthma and rhinitis. European Respiratory Journal.
- 2019. Being overweight in childhood, puberty, or early adulthood: Changing asthma risk in the next generation? Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1-13.
- 2019. Asthma and selective migration from farming environments in a three-generation cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology (EJE). 601-609.
- 2019. Agreement of offspring-reported parental smoking status: the RHINESSA generation study. BMC Public Health. 1-9.
- 2018. Zoonotic helminth exposure and risk of allergic diseases: A study of two generations in Norway. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 66-77.
- 2018. Periodontal Health status and lung function in two Norwegian cohorts. PLOS ONE. 1-15.
- 2018. Cleaning at home and at work in relation to lung function decline and airway obstruction. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1157-1163.
- 2018. Agreement in reporting of asthma by parents or offspring - the RHINESSA generation study. BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 1-10.
- 2018. A three-generation study on the association of tobacco smoking with asthma. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1106-1117.
- 2017. Validation of maternal reported pregnancy and birth characteristics against the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. PLOS ONE. 1-12.
- 2017. Prevalence of, and work-related risk factors for, hand eczema in a Norwegian general population (The HUNT Study). Contact Dermatitis. 214-223.
- 2017. Clinical markers of asthma and IgE assessed in parents before conception predict asthma and hayfever in the offspring. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 627-638.
- 2017. Building dampness and mold in European homes in relation to climate, building characteristics and socio-economic status: The European Community Respiratory Health Survey ECRHS II. Indoor Air: International Journal of Indoor Environment and Health. 921-932.
- 2016. Validation of self-reported figural drawing scales against anthropometric measurements in adults. Public Health Nutrition. 1944-1951.
- 2016. Use of probiotics and prebiotics in infant feeding. Baillière's Best Practice & Research : Clinical Gastroenterology. 39-48.
- 2016. The Association of gum bleeding With respiratory Health in a population based study from Northern Europe. PLOS ONE.
- 2016. Self-reported exposure to traffic pollution in relation to daytime sleepiness and habitual snoring: a questionnaire study in seven North-European cities. Sleep Medicine. 93-99.
- 2016. Pulmonary illness as a consequence of occupational exposure to shrimp shell powder. Environmental Research. 491-499.
- 2016. Menopause as a predictor of new-onset asthma: A longitudinal Northern European population study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 50-57.e6.
- 2016. Father’s environment before conception and asthma risk in his children: a multi-generation analysis of the Respiratory Health In Northern Europe study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 235-245.
- 2015. Respiratory health in cleaners in Northern Europe: Is susceptibility established in early life? PLOS ONE. 13 pages.
- 2015. Measurement of total and free urinary phenol and paraben concentrations over the course of pregnancy: assessing reliability and contamination of specimens in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 705-711.
- 2014. Reliability of triclosan measures in repeated urine samples from Norwegian pregnant women. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. 517-521.
- 2014. Probiotic milk consumption in pregnancy and infancy and subsequent childhood allergic diseases. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 165-+.
- 2014. Food allergens in mattress dust in Norwegian homes - a potentially important source of allergen exposure. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 142-149.
- 2013. Urinary biomarkers for phthalates associated with asthma in Norwegian children. Environmental Health Perspectives. 251-256.
- 2013. Triclosan exposure and allergic sensitization in Norwegian children. Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 84-91.
- 2013. Pulmonary phthalate exposure and asthma - is PPAR a plausible mechanistic link? EXCLI Journal. 733-759.
- 2013. Phthalate Exposure and Allergy in the US Population: Results from NHANES 2005-2006. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1129-1134.
- 2012. Pet keeping and tobacco exposure influence CD14 methylation in childhood. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 746-753.
- 2010. Rhinitis in children: Co-morbidities and phenotypes. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 612-622.
- 2010. Gender differences in indoor allergen exposure and association with current rhinitis. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 1388-1397.
- 2010. Do allergic families avoid keeping furry pets? Indoor Air: International Journal of Indoor Environment and Health. 187-195.
- 2010. Childhood asthma and early life exposure to indoor allergens, endotoxin and beta(1,3)-glucans. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 307-316.
- 2007. Modeling the intra-urban variability of outdoor traffic pollution in Oslo, Norway - A GA(2)LEN project. Atmospheric Environment. 7500-7511.
- 2005. Results of pulmonary resection for lung cancer in Norway, patients older than 70 years. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. 325-328.
- 2013. Food Allergens in Mattress Dust in Norwegian Homes: a Significant Source of Allergen Exposure?
- 2018. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in fish processing workers diagnosed by inhalation challenge. European Respiratory Journal Open Research (ERJ Open Research). 00071.
- 2014. Astma og renholdsarbeidere: Resultater fra RHINE-studien. Fagbladet Allergi i praksis. 30-33.
- 2010. The indoor environment and childhood allergic diseases; the importance of allergens and microbial components. No.936.
- 2013. Maternal Probiotic Intake and Respiratory and Allergy Outcomes in Early Childhood. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. AB129-AB129.
- 2013. Food allergens in mattress dust in Norwegian homes: a significant source of allergen exposure? Clinical and Translational Allergy.
- 2009. Early life exposure to cat allergens increase the risk of late childhood asthma in a community with low levels of in-door allergens. Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 106-107.
- 2008. Do allergic families avoid having furry pets when children are small? Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 7-8.
- 47 publications in international peer-reviewed journals; h-index: 18, Citations: 808 (Web of science)
- 9 publications in Norwegian journals for health personnel (4 as first- or single author)
- Book chapter: Jensen ET, Bertelsen RJ, Ringel Kulka T. “The Microbiota of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Infancy”, book chapter in “The Microbiota in Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology: Implications for Human Health, Prebiotics, Probiotics and Dysbiosis” 1st Edition November 2016. Elsevier. ISBN: 9780128040249.
- 10 popular science interviews (newspapers, TV, radio)
Many of Randi J Bertelsen's publications are Open Access, and her updated publication record can be found at:
10 Representative Publications
- Jõgi NO, Svanes C, Siiak SP, Logan E, Holloway JW, Igland J, Johannessen A, Levin M, Real FG, Schlunssen V, Horsnell WGC, Bertelsen RJ (2018) Zoonotic helminth exposure and risk of allergic diseases: A study of two generations in Norway. Clin Exp Allergy; 48(1):66-77. Citations: 12. First study to describe prevalence of zoonotic helminth exposure in Norway.
- Svanes Ø, Bertelsen RJ, Lygre SHL, Carsin AE, Antó JM, Forsberg B, García-García JM, Gullón JA, Heinrich J, Holm M, Kogevinas M, Urrutia I, Leynaert B, Moratalla JM, Le Moual N, Lytras T, Norbäck D, Nowak D, Olivieri M, Pin I, Probst-Hensch N, Schlünssen V, Sigsgaard T, Skorge TD, Villani S, Jarvis D, Zock JP, Svanes C (2018) Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine; 197(9):1157-1163 IF: Citations: 32. Co-supervisor for Ø Svanes; this paper report important association between cleaning and accelerated lung function decline. This paper gained a lot of attention in the press throughout the world.
- Pérez Barrionuevo AM, Gómez Real F, Igland J, Johannessen A, Omenaas E, Franklin KA, Pérez Barrionuevo L, Åstrøm AN, Svanes C, Bertelsen RJ (2018) Periodontal health status and lung function in two Norwegian cohorts. PLoS One; 13(1):e0191410 Citations: 5. An important paper which lay the groundwork for the ongoing research topic in the ERC and RCN funded projects on association between oral microbiome and respiratory health.
- Bertelsen RJ, Rava M, Casin AE, Accordini S, Benediktsdottir B, Dratva J, Franklin KA, Heinrich J, Holm M, Janson C, Johannessen A, Jarvis DL, Jogi R, Leyneart B, Norback D, Omenaas ER, Raherison C, Sánchez-Ramos JL, Schlunssen V, Sigsgaard T, Dharmage SC, Svanes C (2017) Parental asthmatic and allergic activity before conception predicts asthma and allergy in the offspring. Clin Exp Allergy; 47(5): 627-638. Citations: 8. Highlighted as Editor’s choice selection (May 2017 Edition)
- Vindenes HK, Svanes C, Lygre SH, Hollund BE, Langhammer A, Bertelsen RJ (2017). Prevalence of and work-related risk factors for hand eczema in a Norwegian general population (HUNT3). Contact Dermatits; 77(4):214-223. Citations: 10. This is the first paper on chemical exposures and hand eczema in a general population in Norway.
- Bertelsen RJ, Jensen ET, Ringel-Kulka T (2016). Use of probiotics and prebiotics in infant feeding. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol; 30(1):39-48. Citations: 57. Personal invitation for specialty edition
- Bertelsen RJ, Brantsæter AL, Magnus M, Haugen M, Myhre R, Jacobsson B, Longnecker MP, Meltzer HM, London SJ (2014) Probiotic milk consumption in pregnancy and infancy and subsequent childhood allergic disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol 133(1):165-171. Citations: 103.
- Bertelsen RJ, Lødrup-Carlsen KC, Calafat AM, Hoppin JA, Haland G, Mowinckel P, Carlsen KH, Løvik M (2013). Urinary Biomarkers for Phthalates Associated with Asthma in Norwegian Children. Environ Health Perspect 121(2):251-256. Featured as a Science Selection in the February Issue of EHP: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/2013/02/121-a59/ Citations: 143. I finished this paper as a visiting postdoctoral-fellow at NIEHS. I was invited to contribute with a podcast on phthalates and asthma in Environmental Health Perspective.
- Bertelsen RJ, Longnecker MP, Løvik M, Calafat AM, Carlsen K‐H, London SJ, Lødrup Carlsen KC. Triclosan exposure and allergic sensitization in Norwegian children (2013) Allergy; 68 (1): 84-91. Citations: 89. This publication gained a lot of attention in national and international media during a time when triclosan was being phased out due to fear of that effect on development of antibiotic resistance bacteria
- Bertelsen RJ, Carlsen KCL, Carlsen K-H, Granum B, Doekes G, Håland G, Mowinckel P, Løvik M. Childhood asthma and early life exposure to indoor allergens, endotoxin and ß(1,3)-glucans (2010). Clin Exp Allergy; 40 (2): 307-316. Citations: 59. This paper attracted a lot of media attention and also lead to a television-interview (The Norwegian National Broadcasting channel).
2018 Kronprins Haakons Research Award for Asthma and Allergy Research; the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Foundation, Oslo, Norway (5 000 Euro); annual prize for special merits in the field
2011 Fulbright Fellowship from the U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation for Educational Exchange for research in Medical Sciences at NIEHS/NIH, North Carolina, USA
2010 Voksentoppen Research Award within paediatric allergology and pulmonology awarded for outstanding research within paediatric respiratory medicine and allergology; Voksentoppen, Oslo University Hospital, Norway (5 000 Euro); annual prize for special merits in the field
Commision of trust/Professional Commitments
2019 - Vice Chair, Management Committee, COST Action CA18131: Statistical and machine learning techniques in human microbiome studies
2018- Member, Scientific Advisory Board: Leibniz ScienceCampus for Evolutionary Medicine of the Lung (EvoLung), Germany. http://evolung.fz-borstel.de/index.php
2017 - Associate editor, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health (Elsevier)
2015 - Founding member, International Society for Children's Health and the Environment
2014- Committee member of the National Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics (NEM), appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research
2013- Member, working group for recommended technical standards for indoor environment: «Anbefalte faglige normer for inneklima» Rapport 2013: 7, NIPH, Norway
2011- Norwegian representative, WHO expert meeting on Environmental Health Inequalities in Europe; Bonn, Germany. Report contribution: Environmental Health Inequalities in Europe; Assessment report; WHO 2012; ISBN: 978 92 890 0260 8
Organization of international comferences
Organiser – Seminar: “Analyses of the human microbiome; challenges and opportunities”, invited international and national speakers (35 participants), University of Bergen, Norway (3rd March 2019)
Organiser - 31st annual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE 2019), Proposing and organizing symposium: “Interaction between environmental chemicals and toxicants and the human microbiome” (50 participants), Utrecht, the Netherlands
Chair of meeting planning committee - ISCHE. Name of event: “The Future of Children’s Environmental Health – Translating Knowledge into Action” (70 participants), Cuernavaca, Mexico (January 5-10, 2016).
2021 Researcher project "Oral health in adults: predictors, social gradients and correlation with cardiovascular health in women and men" - WP PI - Research Council of Norway; project owner: Oral Health Centre of Expertice/TKVestland
2019 ERC Starting Grant: “Oral bacteria as determinants for respiratory health” - Principal investigator (PI) - European Research Council (ERC); Project owner: University of Bergen
2018 Researcher project: “Oral and Environmental Microbiome, Endotoxin and Lung Health; the ‘United Airways’ concept extended” - PI - Research Council of Norway; Project owner: University of Bergen
2017 Reseracher project: “Housedust mite prevalence in Western Norway” - PI - The Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Foundation; Project owner: Haukeland University Hospital