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Advancing tools for human early lifecourse exposome research and translation (ATHLETE)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Demetris AvraamORCiD, Emeritus Professor Paul BurtonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Copyright © 2021 The Authors.Early life stages are vulnerable to environmental hazards and present important windows of opportunity for lifelong disease prevention. This makes early life a relevant starting point for exposome studies. The Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation (ATHLETE) project aims to develop a toolbox of exposome tools and a Europe-wide exposome cohort that will be used to systematically quantify the effects of a wide range of community- and individual-level environmental risk factors on mental, cardiometabolic, and respiratory health outcomes and associated biological pathways, longitudinally from early pregnancy through to adolescence. Exposome tool and data development include as follows: (1) a findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable (FAIR) data infrastructure for early life exposome cohort data, including 16 prospective birth cohorts in 11 European countries; (2) targeted and nontargeted approaches to measure a wide range of environmental exposures (urban, chemical, physical, behavioral, social); (3) advanced statistical and toxicological strategies to analyze complex multidimensional exposome data; (4) estimation of associations between the exposome and early organ development, health trajectories, and biological (metagenomic, metabolomic, epigenetic, aging, and stress) pathways; (5) intervention strategies to improve early life urban and chemical exposomes, co-produced with local communities; and (6) child health impacts and associated costs related to the exposome. Data, tools, and results will be assembled in an openly accessible toolbox, which will provide great opportunities for researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders, beyond the duration of the project. ATHLETE's results will help to better understand and prevent health damage from environmental exposures and their mixtures from the earliest parts of the life course onward.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vrijheid M, Basagana X, Gonzalez JR, Jaddoe VWV, Jensen G, Keun HC, McEachan RRC, Porcel J, Siroux V, Swertz MA, Thomsen C, Aasvang GM, Andrusaityte S, Angeli K, Avraam D, Ballester F, Burton P, Bustamante M, Casas M, Chatzi L, Chevrier C, Cingotti N, Conti D, Crepet A, Dadvand P, Duijts L, van Enckevort E, Esplugues A, Fossati S, Garlantezec R, Roig MDG, Grazuleviciene R, Gutzkow KB, Guxens M, Haakma S, Hessel EVS, Hoyles L, Hyde E, Klanova J, van Klaveren JD, Kortenkamp A, Le Brusquet L, Leenen I, Lertxundi A, Lertxundi N, Lionis C, Llop S, Lopez-Espinosa M-J, Lyon-Caen S, Maitre L, Mason D, Mathy S, Mazarico E, Nawrot T, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Ortiz R, Pedersen M, Perello J, Perez-Cruz M, Philippat C, Piler P, Pizzi C, Quentin J, Richiardi L, Rodriguez A, Roumeliotaki T, Capote JMS, Santiago L, Santos S, Siskos AP, Strandberg-Larsen K, Stratakis N, Sunyer J, Tenenhaus A, Vafeiadi M, Wilson RC, Wright J, Yang T, Slama R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Epidemiology

Year: 2021

Volume: 5

Issue: 5

Print publication date: 01/10/2021

Online publication date: 01/10/2021

Acceptance date: 28/06/2021

Date deposited: 08/03/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2474-7882

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Health


DOI: 10.1097/EE9.0000000000000166


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