Virissa Lenters

Virissa Lenters is an Assistant Professor in environmental epidemiology and exposome science at the University Medical Center Utrecht. She currently investigates how the pollutome and more broadly the urban and chemical exposome affect development and disease susceptibility, including the independent and mediating effects of the microbiome.

She earned her MSc and PhD in Epidemiology from Utrecht University. Her doctoral research focused on identifying environmental chemical exposures associated with impaired reproductive and respiratory child health. Beyond etiology, she focuses on statistical approaches to evaluate exposure mixtures. During her post-doctoral at the Norwegian Institute for Public Health and while visiting UC San Diego, she investigated how persistent organic pollutants and metals interact with gut microbiota, and further mediate associations between pollution and child health. She has also studied the health effects of environmental microbial exposures, asbestos, and air pollution within several EU and nationally funded projects, and has contributed to (inter)national human health risk assessments.


Cohort Profile: LIFEWORK, a Prospective Cohort Study on Occupational and Environmental Risk Factors and Health in the Netherlands

Reedijk M, Lenters V, Slottje P, Pijpe A, Peeters PH, Korevaar JC, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Verschuren WMM, Verheij RA, Pieterson I, van Leeuwen FE , Rookus MA ,Kromhout H , Vermeulen RCH.
BMJ Open . 2018 Feb 3;8(2):e018504. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018504.

Virissa Lenters

Contact information

UMC Utrecht
Department of Epidemiology


Areas of Expertise

Environmental Epidemiology Exposome Exposure Science

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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