Bram Brouwer

Prof. dr. Abraham (Bram) Brouwer (1952) holds an MSc degree in Biochemistry
and Pharmacology, and a PhD degree in Medicine from Leiden University (Netherlands). He is an officially licensed toxicologist with over 20 years of experience in the field of environmental and nutritional toxicology.

In 1987 he finished his Ph.D. thesis on an environmental toxicology project entitled ‘Interference of 3,3’,4,4’-tetrachlorobiphenyl in vitamin A (retinoids) metabolism: possible consequences for toxicity and carcinogenicity’. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of environmental and nutritional toxicology, with special emphasis on mechanisms of action, endocrine toxicology, design and validation of molecular biomarkers and developmental and reproductive toxicology. He has been a member of a number of expert panels and committees on the possible adverse health effects of dioxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals and is frequently employed as temporary advisor on this topic for e.g. WHO, EU-DGXII, IPCS, EPA, NIEHS/NIH and national health council committees.

Abraham Brouwer has participated in many national and international research projects and consortia, including EU-FAIR, EU-ENV, EU-BMAI projects, Dutch Health Council Programmes, NWO, STW, Preventiefonds. Some examples are: ‘Analysing combination effects of mixtures of estrogenic chemicals in marine and freshwater organisms’ (ACE EVK1-CT-2001-00100), ‘Comparison of exposure –effect pathways to improve the assessment of human health risks of complex environmental mixtures of organohalogens’ (COMPARE QLK4-2000-00261), ‘Risk assessment of brominated flame retardants as suspected endocrine disrupters for human an wildlife’ (FIRE QLRT-2001-00596, 13-06-2002).


PCBs and Dioxin-related toxicology, endocrine toxicology, developmental toxicology, reproduction toxicology, tumor promotion, receptor-mediated mechanisms, bioassays and biomarker development and application, risk assessment, ecotoxicology.

Academic training


Approved Toxicologist (license 1987), Dutch Federation of Medical Science Foundations


Ph.D. (1987) Medicine, State University of Leiden, The Netherlands Ph.D. thesis: ‘Interference of 3,3’,4 4’-Tetrachlorobyphenyl in vitamin A
(retinoids) metabolism: possible implications for toxicity and carcinogenicity of polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons’, 1987, Leiden


MSc. (1981) Biochemistry and Pharmacology, State University of Leiden,
The Netherlands. Main Topic (15 month) MSc-thesis: Purification and characterisation of white blood cell differentiation and proliferation factors. Performed at Radio-
biological Institute TNO, Rijswijk


BSc. (1976) Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, Van ‘t Hoff-Polytechnical College, Rotterdam. The Netherlands

Professional employment history


Director BE-Basic


Director of the Ecogenomics Consortium of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative


Chief executive officer (CEO) of BioDetection Systems (BDS) bv; chairman of the board of BDS Holding bv; director of CALUX bv


Professor of Environmental Toxicology at the Earth and Life Sciences Faculty of the Vrije Universiteit


Head of the Department of Chemistry, Toxicology and Ecology at the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam


Toxicology Research Coordinator of Dutch Research School of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, Wageningen, The Netherlands


Associate Professor, Department of Toxicology, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Research theme: Endocrine toxicology, developmental neurtoxicology reprotoxicology, tumor promotion, receptor-mediated mechanisms of action, biomarker development, retinoid research.


Assistant Professor, Department of Toxicology, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Research theme: Primary receptor interactions in toxicology, and ecotoxicology


Visiting Research Scientist, KWF-Fellow, Department of Medicine,
College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York

Project: Fluorescence polarization studies towards PCB-interference with retinol binding protein-transthyretin complex formation


Postgraduate Research Scientist in Biochemistry, Radiobiological Institute TNO, Rijswijk, The Netherlands

PhD-project: PCBs and retinoid metabolism: mechanisms and toxicological impact, including mammary tumor and skin tumor model studies


Research Fellow in Biochemistry, Radiobiological Institute-TNO, Rijswijk, The Netherlands

Research topic: Development and validation of bioassays for blood cell hormones, in particular erythropoietin


Research Fellow in Experimental Haematology, Department of Experimental Medicine, Erasmus University, The Netherlands

Research topic: Isolation and characterisation of blood cell growth factors (interleukines)


Adjunct Head of Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, Bethesda-St Joseph Hospital, Vlissingen, TheNetherlands


Professional associations

·          Dutch Royal Society of Chemistry (1981 - ongoing)

·          Dutch Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1982- ongoing)

·          Dutch Federation of Medical Science Foundations (1979-ongoing)

·          Dutch Society of Toxicology (1987-ongoing)

·          Dutch Science Foundation, Thyroid Hormone Group (1993-ongoing)

·          American Society of Toxicology (1995-ongoing)


Over 200 publications in peer reviewed Journals.

  • Delft University of Technology
  • BioDetection Systems B.V.
  • Bioclear earth
  • Food & Biobased Research
  • VU University Amsterdam
  • Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
  • Corbion Purac
  • Utrecht University
  • Maastricht University
  • Synthon
  • DSM
  • Microdish BV
  • Wageningen UR
  • AkzoNobel
  • Deltares
  • MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology
  • University of Amsterdam
  • University of Groningen
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • TU Dortmund
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Microlife Solutions
  • Essent New Energy B.V.
  • Amyris, Inc.
  • Imperial College London
  • ClearDetections
  • Soil Cares Research
  • Dyadic
  • Friesland Campina
  • Delft Advanced Biorenewables
  • Basidiofactory
  • Chr. Hansen
  • NIZO food research B.V.
  • Tertium
  • Stichting Natuur en Milieu
  • ECN
  • Leiden University
  • Platform Bio-Energie
  • CSK Food Enrichment
  • Bioprocess Pilot Facility
  • SkyNRG
  • Zirk Technology
  • Procede Group
  • ChainCraft
  • Deltalinqs
  • GEVO
  • Sweco
  • Proteonic
  • Goodfuels
  • Groen Agro Control