Research

Our collaborative research is constructed around four themes:

Theme 1: Using Big-Data to characterize the Exposome

Emerging methods to assess the Exposome are producing increasingly large amounts of data. Data mining methods previously developed for genomic research may help in extracting information from the big datasets that are produced for Exposome research. The exposome center will support exploration of new measurement methods along with strategies for extracting information from the resulting big datasets. Activities in this area leverage existing infrastructure on Big-Data analyses at the three institutions.


Theme 2: Evaluating the external Exposome through sensors or integrative biological systems

All three universities have strengths and ongoing research on the health impacts of air pollution exposure. Adopting an Exposome-based framework requires moving traditional methods designed to assess population exposure towards more individualized and biologically relevant methods. 


Theme 3: Creating and Improving Geospatial Exposure Surfaces

Geospatial mapping procedures (modeling) can be used to represent a broad range of environmental conditions and resulting exposures. These include: greenspace, walkability, radiation, electromagnetic fields, pesticides, air, light and noise pollution. A range of methods are used to interpolate for generally limited amount of measurements through time and space in order to complete an exposure surface. However, the empirical nature of this modeling can create inconsistencies in the approaches used for different environmental determinants or different cities that may be yielding inconsistent health findings.


Theme 4: The 24/7 Society Exposome

Our 24/7 society is changing the environment we live in and how we live in it. For example, the distinctions between work and home life are fading and our work, leisure and travel activity patterns are changing. All three universities have cohort studies investigating the health impacts of irregular and borderless work hours. Disruptions due to light at night are also a shared interest.