Dr. Karla Johanning, Founder of KJ Scientific Independent Testing Labs

Dr. Karla Johanning, a native of Costa Rica, is the CEO and Founder of KJ Scientific & KJ Scientific Independent Testing Labs, an ISO /IEC 17025 accredited testing laboratory and Contract Research Organization (CRO) located in Georgetown, TX. Karla has dedicated her professional life to study different aspects of environmental biology and ecotoxicology in relation to human and environmental health.


Dr. Johanning founded KJ Scientific in 2014 using an innovative technology that she developed with other Scientists in the US and Europe using fish liver cells to test in vitro metabolism of chemicals. The main application of this technology for risk assessment and compliance is to determine the bioaccumulation (accumulation in tissues) potential of some chemicals, ingredients in our every day’s life products. This technology provides an alternative animal method to the use of whole animals for chemical testing for human and environmental safety.  Karla has written many scientific articles on the subject and set up one of two labs in the world that can commercially provide services to test chemicals using KJ Scientific’s own product- isolated fish liver cells from trout and other fish species of regulatory relevance.   This new product testing lab – in collaboration with SC Johnson & Son – participated in the OECD (Organization for Economic and Co-operative Development) global Ring Trial with seven other laboratories (Dow Chemical, Du Pont, US EPA, Fraunhofer Institute, Givaudan, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson & Son/KJ Scientific) to validate the fish in vitro metabolism technology.  The Ring Trial resulted in the validation of standardized protocols - OECD Test Guidelines 319A and 319B – that can be used worldwide in testing chemicals for risk assessment.

KJ Scientific Independent Testing Labs, a subsidiary of KJ Scientific, was established to focus on testing of hemp and CBD infused products. Initial accreditation for ISO /IEC 17025 was accomplished in mid 2020. Accreditation of full panel testing has been completed and KJ Scientific is one of few testing labs in Texas capable to test plant material, concentrates and infused products using in house, robust developed and validated methods.  KJ Scientific Independent Testing Labs is not just a testing mill.  It is a dedicated research facility continuing to uphold the overarching mission of delivering the highest quality service to ensure human and environmental health safety. Dr. Johanning was one of the speakers in the Cannabis testing panel at the Texas Marijuana Policy Conference in Nov 2020. KJ Scientific Independent Testing Lab was the selected lab to test the hemp samples in the first Taste of Texas Hemp Cup in December 2020.

Dr. Johanning’s lab has collaborated with researchers at Baylor University (TX), University of Bern (Switzerland) and, Nicholls State University (LA).

Dr. Johanning earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Costa Rica (Costa Rica), Master and PhD degrees at the University of Rhode Island (RI, USA). She completed two postdoctoral positions at the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Louisiana Medical Center and at the Tulane University Cancer Center. She worked as a Sr. Research Scientist at the Tulane Center for Bioenvironmental Research before moving to Austin where she settled.

Visit kjscientific.com and learn about their testing services