All nine profile papers from the European Human Exposome Network (EHEN) have been published in the journal of Environmental Epidemiology.
We present an overview of these papers here.
Published in August 2021, the profile paper from the Expanse project, entitled “Developing the building blocks to elucidate the impact of the urban exposome on cardiometabolic-pulmonary disease”, presents one of the central dilemmas facing urban planners, policy makers, and European citizens: “How to improve one’s health and wellbeing in a modern urban environment?”
Longitools – longitudinal modelling
The LongITools profile paper, “Dynamic longitudinal exposome trajectories in cardiovascular and metabolic noncommunicable diseases”, published in February 2022, introduces the project’s key scientific concepts, that are primarily based on longitudinal modelling. The article covers the metadata for the project, the expected impact of LongiTools, as well as the main challenges faced by the project.
In October 2021, the Athlete project profile paper was published, entitled “Advancing tools for human early lifecourse exposome research and translation”. The paper outlines the objective of systematically quantifying the effects of a wide range of community-level and individual-level environmental risk factors on mental, cardiometabolic, and respiratory health outcomes and associated biological pathways during the first two decades of life. This will be achieved via a toolbox of exposome tools and a Europe-wide exposome data cohort.
The aim of the Athlete project is to develop intervention strategies to improve early life urban and chemical exposomes, and to translate the resulting evidence to policy recommendations and prevention strategies.
The Equal Life profile paper, published in February 2022, introduces the concept of the “life-course” exposome, and complex interplay of environmental factors during childhood that contribute to children’s suboptimal mental health and cognitive development. The project will study the impact of childrens’ physical and social environment, including social inequities, on cognitive development and mental health over time.
The Remedia project paper is entitled “Assessing the impact of exposome on the course of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis”. Published in August 2021, it sets out the project approach of exploiting data from existing cohorts and population registries, developing an individual sensor device combining environmental and biomarker toolkits, using an atmospheric simulation chamber to simulate health effects of complex exposomes, using machine learning and causal inference models to identify risk factors, and developing models to assess the performance, and cost-effectiveness of prevention strategies.
“Mapping exposure-induced immune effects: connecting the exposome and the immunome” outlines how the Eximious project will gather experts in immunology, toxicology, occupational health, clinical medicine, exposure science, epidemiology, bioinformatics, and sensor development to assess eleven European study populations, covering the entire lifespan, including prenatal life. The project will use high-dimensional immunophenotyping and -profiling platforms to map the immune effects (immunome) induced by the exposome.
The Ephor project profile is entitled “Applying the exposome concept to working life health”. The project will focus on complex working life exposures, and aims to map exposures to biological pathways, key body functions, and health. This will be achieved by pooling existing European cohorts looking at multiple exposures and diseases, with the collection of new, high-resolution external and internal exposure data.
The Human Exposome Assessment Platform (HEAP)
Published in December 2021, the HEAP project paper introduces the HEAP informatics platform that aims to become a global research resource, integrating an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS: computational resources services for storage and computation) and a Platform as a Service (PaaS: software services for managing and analyzing data). The aim of the HEAP project is to develop a tool for efficient management and processing of massive data from geographically distributed large-scale population cohorts.
Published in June 2022, the HEDIMED profile paper outlines the project’s focus on common, chronic immune-mediated diseases (IMDs), including type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, allergy, and asthma. HEDIMED focuses on the fetal and childhood exposome, and aims to identify exposomic disease determinants and underlying biological pathways using omics and multiplex technologies combined with data mining.
The full list of profile papers with authors is as follows:
- Vlaanderen J, de Hoogh K, Hoek G, Peters A, Probst-Hensch N, Scalbert A, Melén E, Tonne C, de Wit GA, Chadeau-Hyam M, Katsouyanni K. Developing the building blocks to elucidate the impact of the urban exposome on cardiometabolic-pulmonary disease: The EU EXPANSE project. Environmental Epidemiology. 2021 Aug;5(4).
- Ronkainen, J., Nedelec, R., Atehortua, A., Balkhiyarova, Z., Cascarano, A., Dang, V. N., … & Sebert, S. (2022). LongITools: Dynamic longitudinal exposome trajectories in cardiovascular and metabolic noncommunicable diseases. Environmental Epidemiology, 6(1), e184.
- Vrijheid M, Basagaña X, Gonzalez JR, Jaddoe VW, Jensen G, Keun HC, McEachan RR, Porcel J, Siroux V, Swertz MA, Thomsen C. Advancing tools for human early lifecourse exposome research and translation (ATHLETE): Project overview. Environmental Epidemiology. 2021 Oct;5(5).
- Van Kamp I, Waye KP, Kanninen K, Gulliver J, Bozzon A, Psyllidis A, Boshuizen H, Selander J, van den Hazel P, Brambilla M, Foraster M. Early environmental quality and life-course mental health effects: The Equal-Life project. Environmental Epidemiology. 2022 Feb 1;6(1):e183.
- Benjdir M, Audureau É, Beresniak A, Coll P, Epaud R, Fiedler K, Jacquemin B, Niddam L, Pandis SN, Pohlmann G, Sandanger TM. Assessing the impact of exposome on the course of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystc fibrosis: The REMEDIA European Project Approach. Environmental Epidemiology. 2021 Aug;5(4).
- Ronsmans, S., Hougaard, K. S., Nawrot, T. S., Plusquin, M., Huaux, F., Cruz, M. J., … & Hoet, P. H. (2022). The EXIMIOUS project—Mapping exposure-induced immune effects: connecting the exposome and the immunome. Environmental Epidemiology, 6(1).
- Pronk, A., Loh, M., Kuijpers, E., Albin, M., Selander, J., Godderis, L., … & EPHOR Consortium. (2022). Applying the exposome concept to working life health: The EU EPHOR project. Environmental Epidemiology, 6(2).
- Martinez, R. M., Müller, H., Negru, S., Ormenisan, A., Mühr, L. S. A., Zhang, X., … & Dillner, J. (2021). Human exposome assessment platform. Environmental Epidemiology, 5(6).
- Laiho, Jutta E.; Laitinen, Olli H.; Malkamäki, Johannesa; Puustinen, Leenaa; Sinkkonen, Akib; Pärkkä, Juhac; Hyöty, Heikki, HEDIMED Investigator group. Exposomic determinants of immune-mediated diseases (2022) Special focus on type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, asthma, and allergies: The HEDIMED project approach Environmental Epidemiology: 6 (3)