Posted on May 10, 2013 · Posted in Announcements

Edit: For more information regarding the LIFE project, visit our projects section.

We are pleased to announce that the Environmental Engineering Laboratory has just won and is going to lead the largest research project in Europe on environment and health: HEALS (Health and Environment-wide Associations via Large population Surveys). 29 organisations are participating in this project with a total budget of 15 million euros over the next 5 years.


HEALS (Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys) brings together a comprehensive array of novel technologies, data analysis and modeling tools that support efficient design and execution of exposome studies. The HEALS approach brings together and organizes environmental, socio-economic, exposure, biomarker and health effect data; in addition, it includes all the procedures and computational sequences necessary for applying advanced bioinformatics coupling advanced data mining, biological and exposure modeling so as to ensure that environmental exposure-health associations are studied comprehensively.

The main objective of HEALS is the refinement of an integrated methodology and the application of the corresponding analytical and computational tools for performing environment-wide association studies in support of EU-wide environment and health assessments. The HEALS approach will be refined on the basis of pre-existing population data and then it will be applied in a pilot environment and health examination survey covering eighteen EU Member States. The lessons learned will be translated into scientific advice towards the development of protocols and guidelines for the setting up of a European environment and health examination survey. Exposome studies will require novel tools to address the complexity of  emerging environmental health issues. Critical for success will be the ability to bring together existing geospatial, environmental, health and socioeconomic data, and to collect new high resolution data using innovative environmental micro-sensors, remote sensing or other community and omics/systems biology based approaches approaches to describe the exposome for e.g. endocrine disruption-related syndromes and sexrelated changes (menopause), neurodegenerative or respiratory diseases.