The mathematical formula for our state of being reads rather simple: genes plus environment equals our health. We’ve sequenced our genes to identify the genetic component of disease, but a similar level of analysis, however, is still lacking for our environment. The exposome concept was conceived in 2005 as a way to represent the environmental, i.e. non-genetic, drivers of health and disease. For these external forces to have an effect on health, they must alter our biology, suggesting that a detailed analysis of accessible biological samples at different molecular levels, coupled with information on environmental drivers, can provide snapshots of both the internal (biological perturbations) and external contributors to the exposome.
We focus on systematically characterizing the exposome in large population studies to identify novel risk factors. We use network approaches towards understanding co-occurrence of risk factors and in understanding their (combined) biological consequences.
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