Digital Public Defence: Jan Toralf Fosen

MD Jan Toralf Fosen at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis Ethyl glucuronide in hair and nail as a biomarker of alcohol consumption for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Image may contain: Person, Clothing, Hair, Sleeve, Dress shirt.

Photo: Private

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Consultant Markus R. Baumgartner, University of Zürich, Switzerland
  • Second opponent: Senior Consultant Jon Johnson, Vestre Viken Hospital Trust
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Marianne Klemp, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Emeritus Helge Waal, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Researcher Gudrun Høiseth, University of Oslo


Excessive use of alcohol may have many harmful effects in health, legal and social perspectives. Underreporting alcohol consumption is a well-known phenomenon, and objective biomarkers like ethyl glucuronide (EtG) are needed.

The aims of this thesis were to assess opportunities and limitations of the use of EtG as an alcohol biomarker in hair and nail.

When studying patients with decreased kidney function, we found higher hair EtG concentrations among patients with reduced kidney function compared to the healthy volunteers, even though the self-reported alcohol consumption did not differ between the two groups.

A comparison of hair and nail from alcohol dependent patients showed higher EtG concentrations in nails compared to hair. Several consecutive nail samples were also collected after inclusion in the study. EtG in nails disappeared faster than would have been expected from nail growth physiology.

We also compared two consecutive hair samples representing the same alcohol consumption period from alcohol dependent patients, and found that EtG concentrations might not be stable during hair growth. This supports a cautious interpretation of EtG results in distal hair segments.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published May 25, 2021 1:48 PM - Last modified June 7, 2021 12:41 PM