NIEHS Podcast: The Exposome and Health

NIEHS recently released a podcast series on the exposome featuring HERCULES scientist Doug Walker and CEC Director Melanie Pearson. Read the episode descriptions below and listen to the episodes here!

Part 1: Doug Walker





Part 2 – Melanie Pearson




The Exposome and Health (Part 1)

We are exposed to countless environmental factors throughout life that can affect our health. Those include chemicals in the air we breathe, the food and water we consume, and the products we use, as well as social stressors, like economic status. The sum of these factors – and the body’s response to them – is called the exposome. Scientists study the exposome to gain a more holistic understanding of how the environment influences health and disease.

In part one of our two-episode series on the exposome, Douglas Walker, Ph.D., will discuss how the field of exposomics is transforming environmental health research. Walker also talks about challenges in the field, such integrating large datasets, and opportunities for exposomic research to improve public health.

The Exposome and Health (Part 2)

The exposome is a growing area of research that aims to assess all the environmental factors a person is exposed to throughout their life and how those exposures affect health. Some scientists are calling for an expansion of this definition — which primarily focuses on an individual’s chemical exposures — to include the perspectives of communities facing environmental health challenges.

In the second installment of our two-part series focused on the exposome, Melanie Pearson, Ph.D., discusses how bringing the community voice into the exposome could help researchers better capture the totality of lifetime exposures and improve human health.

You can read the full publication describing Atlanta communities’ definition of the exposome here:

Lebow-Skelley E, Young L, Noibi Y, Blaginin K, Hooker M, Williamson D, Tomlinson MS, Kegler MC, Pearson MA. 2022. Defining the Exposome Using Popular Education and Concept Mapping With Communities in Atlanta, Georgia. Front Public Health. 10:842539. [Abstract] [Full Text ]