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 Human Exposome Assessment Platform (HEAP) is a research resource for the integrated and efficient management and analysis of human exposome data. The project will provide the complete workflow for obtaining exposome actionable knowledge from population-based cohorts. HEAP is a state-of-the-science service composed of computational resources from partner institutions, accessed through a software framework that provides the world’s fastest Hadoop platform for data warehousing and applied artificial intelligence (AI). The software, will provide a decision support system for researchers and policymakers. All the data managed and processed by HEAP, together with the analysis pipelines, will be available for future research. In addition, the platform enables adding new data and analysis pipelines. HEAP’s final product can be deployed in multiple instances to create a network of shareable and reusable knowledge on the impact of exposures on public health. 


The guiding principles of HEAP are that (i) research is international, and global state-of-the-science expertise should be used regardless of the origin of the data, and (ii) exposome studies need to be both large-scale, population-based, continuously ongoing and to be systematically assessed for development of health or disease. Using a limited number of cohorts that are systematically exploited by an international team of researchers with complementary expertise we hope to be able to provide a pilot example of efficient and informative exposome research.


A reproducible and scalable research resource that integrates informatics infrastructures and software to manage, analyze, and produce knowledge in a systematic, flexible, and standardized way, will be a relevant contribution to the exposome research collaboration and the sustainability of the European exposome network.

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