The HBRU has strong expertise in analytical toxicology and development of biomarkers for the assessment of exposure to organic pollutants and for therapeutic drug monitoring.


Our primary research goals are the development of biomarkers for the identification of human exposure to different occupational and environmental pollutants such as pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and persistent organic pollutants. Furthermore, we aim to expand the existing knowledge of the relationships between exposure to pollutants and subsequent biological/biochemical disorders.
Our analytical techniques are based on chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry and we use blood, urine and hair samples as matrices. We namely developed methods to routinely assess alcohol consumption as well as the exposure to cigarette smoke in active and passive smoking

Strategic research goals

  • Development of biomarkers assessing the exposure to pollutants
  • Investigation of the adequacy of different biological matrices for the monitoring of exposure level
  • Analyses of biological samples in national and international epidemiological studies
  • Support to internal and external researchers for study design and results interpretation in biomarker identification

Head of research unit

Dr Appenzeller is the head of the research unit. He also holds a position as Associate Professor at the University of Luxembourg. He is administrative board member of the Society of Hair Testing and expert in the work group on endocrine disruptors for the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety.


Brice Appenzeller


1A-B, rue Thomas Edison
Tel. : +352 26970-421