Group | Exposome Science

The Exposome Science Group has established one of the largest chronic disease-related biobanks in Switzerland, the SAPALDIA Biobank. The biobank allows for studies of the genetic background of complex chronic diseases and related subclinical phenotypes, with a particular focus on phenotypes related to respiratory and cardiovascular health (i.e. lung function, asthma, COPD, heart rate variability, intima-media thickness and renal function).

Through international collaborations and genetics (e.g. Spirometa) as well as exposome (e.g. EXPANSE, Basel Urban Labs) consortia, staff contribute to and lead large meta-analyses to identify novel disease genes and understand how they modify susceptibility to lifestyle and environmental factors. We also contribute and lead broad analyses on the health effects of the broad exposome and on the mediating molecular pathways. Studies of the interaction of inherited genetic and epigenetic susceptibility factors with exposomel factors are a major focus of the group. 

Air Pollution and Health

Our long-standing expertise – nested across all groups of the Chronic Disease Epidemiology unit and several other EPH groups and units – ranges from reviewing the international literature on air pollution and health (LUDOK) and measuring and modelling exposure to ambient air pollution, to investigating its health effects in children and adults, and estimating the related public health burden or the benefits of clean air.

Collaborations and Projects

Our experts serve on committees and advisory boards to advance research and policies at the international level, and collaborate with local and national authorities to provide valuable information on air quality. Seminal long-term projects, such as SAPALDIA, ECRHS, ESCAPE, EGEA, REGICORE, SALIA, EXPOSOMICS and EXPANSE, highlight our involvement in investigating the effects of air pollution on chronic pathologies in various part of the world.

Nicole Probst-Hensch

Nicole Probst-Hensch

Professor, PhD (Pharmacy and Epidemiology), MPH

Adebayo-Ojo T.C, Wichmann J, Arowosegbe O.O, Probst-Hensch N, Schindler C, Künzli N. A new global air quality health index based on the WHO air quality guideline values with application in Cape Town. Int J Public Health. 2023;68:1606349. DOI: 10.3389/ijph.2023.1606349

Baum E et al. "I could not bear it": perceptions of chronic pain among Somali pastoralists in Ethiopia. A qualitative study. PLoS One. 2023;18(11):e0293137. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0293137

Baum E et al. "It is difficult for us to treat their pain". Health professionals' perceptions of Somali pastoralists in the context of pain management: a conceptual model. Med Humanit. 2023(in press). DOI: 10.1136/medhum-2022-012570

Budu-Aggrey A et al. European and multi-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of atopic dermatitis highlights importance of systemic immune regulation. Nat Commun. 2023;14:6172. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-41180-2

Bytyçi-Katanolli A et al. Effectiveness of behavioural change interventions on physical activity, diet and body mass index of public primary healthcare users in Kosovo: the KOSCO cohort. BMJ Open. 2023;13(10):e071100. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-071100