By comprehensively addressing, for the first time, the integration of the external and the internal exposomes at the individual level, EXPOsOMICS provides a holistic and consolidated approach to exposure science.
Building upon several EU-funded research projects with rich sets of health data, exposure data, biomarker measurements and publicly available data sources, this multidisciplinary project will:
- Pool and integrate information from short-term, experimental human studies and existing long-term epidemiological cohorts/consortia - including adults, children and newborns - to design focused investigations for the refinement of environmental exposure assessment based on the concept of life-course epidemiology.
Characterize the exposome (i.e. measure of the effects of life-long environmental exposures on health), by (a) measuring the external component of the exposome at different critical life stages by developing high-technology tools, exploiting experience gained in existing EU initiatives (sensors, databases coupled with GIS, remote sensing), with a focus on air and water pollution; and (b) measuring internal biomarkers of the exposome (xenobiotics and metabolites, adductome, metabolome, transcriptome, epigenome, proteome) with up-to-date omic technologies. We mainly investigate particles (especially ultrafine particulates), black carbon, reactive oxygen species, and disinfection by-products.For the first time, data on the external and internal components of the exposome will be linked at the individual level.
- Use the above exposome measurements to model exposure to air pollution and water contamination in large population cohorts, through novel statistical modeling.
Together, this will lead to formulating a new concept of integrated exposure assessment at the individual level, reducing uncertainty, and assessing how these refinements influence disease risk estimates for combined, multiple exposures and selected diseases.