Karla Johanning, Ph.D.

CEO & Founder


A native of Costa Rica, Dr. Johanning has dedicated her professional life to study different aspects of environmental biology and ecotoxicology in relation to human and environmental health.

Dr. Johanning’s interest is in vitro metabolism and its application to determine fish bioaccumulation potential of chemicals. She has worked in both academic and industrial settings. In 2012 she decided to start her own consulting firm KJohanning Consultancy advising the chemical industry in the use of a new technology, the trout in vitro metabolism assay, an alternative method to assess bioaccumulation potential. Dr. Johanning is also an active member of the ILSI/HESI (Human and Environmental Sciences Institute, Washington, D.C.) Bioaccumulation Subcommittee and also a member of the working group in the next global Ring Trial, where trout liver S9 fraction and hepatocytes are used to test metabolism and assess bioaccumulation.

Dr. Johanning coordinates and teaches at the professional training courses at SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) on the use of trout in vitro metabolism assay. She worked for several years at Life Technologies/Invitrogen (now Thermo Fisher Scientific) and CellzDirect as a Study Director responsible for overseeing drug metabolism studies, and leading an emergent ecotoxicology unit. Dr. Johanning coordinated the activities for production of trout liver fractions (S9 and microsomes) and cryopreserved hepatocytes. Previous to this position, she worked as a Sr. Research Scientist in the Environmental Endocrinology Lab at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) in the field of endocrine disruption. She received her M.Sc. from the Dept. of Aquaculture and Fisheries and her Ph.D. from the Dept. of Zoology from the University of Rhode Island where as part of her research she studied biochemical/physiological parameters in her research using Atlantic salmon and tilapia.

Dr. Johanning has also conducted medical research. She did post-doctoral medical research in the Dept. of Biochemistry at the Louisiana State University Medical Center and at the Tulane University Cancer Center in the Medical School. She earned her B.S. degree (Zoology and Marine Biology) from the University of Costa Rica in her native country of Costa Rica. Karla is also an Adjunct Visiting Professor at Nicholls State University in Louisiana.

Dr. Johanning’s goal is to build a biotech company where companies can test their chemicals utilizing an array of biochemical assays to comply with the regulations that are being placed by national and global regulatory agencies.