Events

Lecture Studium Generale: How our environment affects our health

24 Mar 2021 | 20.00 - 21.30YouTube Livestream

The food we eat, the air we breathe, and the stress we experience. On March 24th epidemiologist Dr Virissa Lenters explains how the exposome influences our health in a lecture of Studium Generale.

It’s safe to say that, in general, we live longer than ever before. We’ve eradicated some deadly infectious diseases and improved our hygiene and nutrition. But are we also living healthier? What makes us sick in the 21st century? These are the questions that epidemiologist Virissa Lenters (UU) tries to answer by decoding the exposome. It is a relatively new concept aimed at explaining what humans are exposed to in life, from birth to death. The food we ingest, the air we breathe, the objects we touch and the psychological stress we encounter. How do these exposures influence our genetics? How does this exposome research break with the traditional approach of cause and effect in health studies?

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Our ultimate goal is that people live healthily for longer

Our ultimate goal is that people live healthily for longer

We know far less about the exposome than we do about the human genome. So far, we only understand about half of the disease burden for which we know the environment plays a role. If we want to prevent people from becoming ill, then we need to understand the other half too. We therefore want to systematically analyse the exposome for the first time. We will start with research into the causes of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The techniques and insights from this research will also be applicable to other chronic conditions.

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