Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation

ATHLETE aims to develop a toolbox of advanced, next-generation, exposome tools and a prospective exposome cohort, which will be used to systematically quantify the effects of a wide range of community-level and individual-level environmental risk factors on mental, cardiometabolic, and respiratory health outcomes and associated biological pathways during the first two decades of life, to implement acceptable and feasible exposome interventions, and to translate the resulting evidence to policy recommendations and prevention strategies. ATHLETE has started on 1 January 2020 and will run until 31 December 2024. 

ATHLETE will establish a prospective exposome cohort, including FAIR data infrastructure, building on Europe’s most comprehensive already existing exposome data. The project is coordinated by Fundación Privada Instituto de Salud Global Barcelona (ISGlobal). 

Innovative tool development will focus on:
1) complete and accurate measurement of multiple environmental risk factors (external/urban, chemical, physical, behavioural, social) through new targeted and untargeted exposure science approaches;
2) development of advanced statistical and toxicological strategies to analyse complex multi-dimensional exposome data;
3) development of interventions to reduce personal exposures, co-produced with the community;
4) estimation of the societal impact of the exposome by calculating costs and child health impacts. 

ATHLETE’s strong focus on the vulnerable early stages of the life course, widespread general population exposures and common non-communicable diseases, its use of a large body of existing exposome data and expertise, its strong emphasis on knowledge translation, its development of an open online toolbox and its close collaboration in the European Human Exposome Network ensure that the objectives are achievable and highly relevant for future research and policy.

RIVM role

RIVM coordinates a work package. RIVM colleague Jacob van Klaveren is involved in the project. 


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N0 874583.