HELIX: The Human Early-Life Exposome
HELIX is a collaborative project funded through the European Commission’s FP7 Exposome Programme which focuses on utilizing novel tools and technologies to understand how early-life environmental exposures impact child health across Europe. Six prospective birth cohort studies contribute to HELIX and those results will ultimately be integrated with data from other European cohorts to estimate health impacts at the population scale. The ultimate goal is to assess how the combination of factors in the chemical, physical and molecular environment during critical early-life periods ultimately leads to health impacts. With this knowledge, major improvements can occur in assessing health risks and therefore lead to improved prevention strategies for vulnerable populations.
EXPOsOMICS is a collaborative project funded through the European Commission’s FP7 Exposome Programme which focuses on the effects of air pollution and drinking water contaminants during critical periods of life. With the goal of systematically defining the relationship between environmental exposures and health, the project will develop a personal monitoring system to collect data on specific external exposures and then assess biological samples to look for markers of internal exposures. By more accurately defining the relationship between external exposures and profiles of molecular features in specific individuals, a new tool will exist for “next generation exposure assessment” of environmental chemical mixtures that can ultimately help estimate the burden of environmental disease.
HEALS: Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys
HEALS is a European Commission funded project focusing on integrating –omics derived data and biochemical biomonitoring with changes that occur in gene expression, protein-protein interactions and metabolic regulation. The project will first analyze data collected in ongoing environmental epidemiologic studies in the EU to assess environmental exposures and human health associations. After identifying these associations, pilot studies will be designed to assess specific biomarkers of exposure, effects and individual susceptibility.
HERCULES: Health and Exposome Research Center
HERCULES is a project funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences under their Environmental Health Sciences P30 Core Centers funding mechanism. Through the collaborative efforts of investigators at Emory University and Georgia Tech, HERCULES aims to use exposome-related approaches to improve human health. The Center provides key infrastructure and expertise to develop and refine new tools and technologies to generate exposure data, improve metabolomics approaches and synthesize data into comprehensive computational models. Although there is a strong emphasis placed on advancing exposome-related approaches, the Center also strives to enhance and expand existing relationships with community partners to facilitate communication about the importance of environmental factors in disease using exposome principles.