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Exposome-NL launches exposome MOOC

10 February 2021

Coursera offers several MOOCs: Massive Online Open Courses. These allow you to explore scientific subjects from the comfort of your own home. As the name implies, these courses are free and open to everyone.

On 10 February Exposome-NL, in collaboration with Utreht University, launched a new MOOC: The Exposome - cracking the science about what makes us sick. Exposome research requires transdisciplinary approaches. Therefore, this MOOC will be of interest to current and prospective students and researchers in the fields of public health, environmental health, life sciences, clinical medicine, geosciences, humanities, and social and behavioural sciences. Join us and sign up!

The exposome: a wild idea

What are the causes of disease? We know that most diseases result from a combination of genes and environment (nature and nurture). Our genes alone do not determine our fate. For most complex diseases, externalities - environmental factors in the broad sense - are more important. This includes our living and working environments, diet, social support and stress, pollution, and exposure to infectious agents. Exposome research is about discovering the non-genetic drivers of health and disease.

Kees de Hoogh


Kees de Hoogh (MOOC, week 3: the external exposome: methodological approaches)


Join our experts in this 6-week course

In this MOOC researchers from Utrecht University and/or the NWO Gravitation programme Exposome-NL will offer their expertise. Amongst others Roel Vermeulen, Joline Beulens and Kees de Hoogh will introduce you to the exposome concept; why it’s important; how we measure the exposome; and the data sciences steps needed to establish associations with health outcomes. This course will conclude with reflections on what is needed to advance this nascent and transformative field of research.

Each course week contains at least one lecture or interview video, some reading, a discussion assignment and a short quiz to test your own knowledge. In the last course week you will make a final assignment where you apply all the knowledge you’ve obtained in this course. Also, you will provide at least one of your fellow learners with feedback on their assignment.

Can’t wait to get started? You might want to check out this story before you enroll in this course.

Join us and sign up!

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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