This project aims to predict individual disease risk related to the environment, by characterizing the external and internal exposome for common exposures (air and drinking water contaminants) during critical periods of life, including in utero. A large amount of health data is now available from longitudinal cohorts in both children and adults, with detailed information on risk factors, confounders and outcomes, but these are not well linked with environmental exposure data. The exposome concept refers to the totality of environmental exposures from conception onwards, and is a novel approach to studying the role of the environment in human disease.
This project will move the field forward by utilising data on individual external exposome (including sensors, smartphones, geo-referencing, satellites), and omic profiles in an agnostic search for new and integrated biomarkers. These tools will be applied in both experimental short-term studies and long-term longitudinal studies in humans. The ultimate goal is to use the new tools in risk assessment and in the estimation of the burden of environmental disease. The involvement of two SMEs, one specialized in sensors and smartphone development, the other in complex data integration, will increase the chances of a successful impact on European Public Health.
This multidisciplinary proposal combines:
- development of a general framework for the systematic measurement of the internal and external exposome in Europe in relation to air and water contamination, as a way to reduce uncertainty in risk assessment and to address the effects of mixtures and complex exposures;
- evaluation of health outcomes and key physiological changes in short-term studies (including a randomized trial) and life-course studies with a large amount of information on diet, physical activity and anthropometry;
- evaluation of the burden of disease in the European population, based on state-of-the-art assessment of population exposures.