Research lines

The Exposome-NL research programme is organised in three research lines. Each of the three research lines is further divided into research projects, covering specific components and research objectives.

Research line 1: Measuring the Exposome

We aim to increase our ability to measure the external and internal exposome by developing and validating novel methods to obtain detailed information on environmental factors, nutrients, drugs, and physical stressors, and to quantify their biological consequences. We will apply these new tools in a large panel study and in multiple population studies in the Netherlands to establish a Reference Exposome. 

Research line 2: Linking Exposome & Health

We will comprehensively investigate the relationship between the exposome and cardiometabolic health (CMH) by incorporating the tools developed in research line 1, and by testing them in proof-of-principle studies of CMH. The output will be the Exposome Map: spatially-resolved maps on multiple stressors that can be linked to health studies to quantify associations with multiple health outcomes and in risk assessments to identify Exposome hotspots. 

Research line 3: Developing Exposome Interventions

We will apply the knowledge generated in research line 1 and 2 to develop and evaluate preventive intervention strategies that are based on modifying aspects of the exposome at the population and individual level. The output will be the Exposome Navigator: a resource for individuals to quantify their own exposome (risk) score by integrating information on location, activities, lifestyle, and biological read-outs.

Cross-cutting research lines

These research lines address the data-analytical and ethical and economic aspects of relevance to research on the Exposome across all three Research Lines.

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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