Leading scientists and policy makers met at the European Commission in Brussels on 11 February 2020 for the launch event of the European Human Exposome Network. Delegates included representatives from each of the network’s nine projects, including HEAP.
The projects were awarded €106 million under the European Union Horizon 2020 “Societal Challenges” programme over a 5-year period, beginning on 1 January 2020. The goal of Horizon 2020 is to enable European institutions to produce world-class science, and to make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
The European Human ExposureNetwork will coordinate efforts to decipher the impact of external and internal exposures on human health. Its projects will offer a wide range of new perspectives on how the exposome, through our diet, lifestyle and environment, affects our health throughout our lives.
Following keynote addresses from Dr Christopher P. Wild and Dr Gary Miller, who wrote the first scientific papers on the Exposome concept, each of the Project Coordinators presented their projects, which cover a range of exposome-related themes. These include the urban environment, through the EXPANSE project, mental health (through the EQUAL LIFE project) and cardiovascular and metabolic non-communicable diseases, (through the LONGITOOLS project). The ATHLETE project looks at tools for exposome research in childhood. Two further projects, Eximious and Hedimed, focus on the impact of the exposome on immunity, and Remedia examines the impact of exposome on the course of lung diseases. Finally, the EPHOR project focuses on health and occupational research.
In his overview of the HEAP project, Project Coordinator Professor Joakim Dillner of Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, saidIn five years time, the legacy of HEAP will offer a flexible technical platform for researchers to access exposome data gathered from large-scale population cohorts, and from a wearable sensors pilot. I believe that by the end of the project, HEAP will have enabled at least one case of translating exposome knowledge into action to improve health, be it through improved environmental safety, consumer protection or through an enhanced understanding of environmental impacts on health.
All of the videos and copies of presentations from the launch event can be accessed via the European Commission website at https://ec.europa.eu/info/events/launch-event-european-human-exposome-network-2020_en. Information on the individual projects in the European Human Exposome Network can be found on the network website at https://www.humanexposome.eu