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Utrecht University

Utrecht University (UU) is the largest university in the Netherlands, employing 3600 scientists and 3300 support staff. More than 30,000 bachelor and master students follow a range of studies. The Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at UU is a partnership between the faculties of Medicine, Veterinary medicine, and Science where approximately 130 staff members, among whom some 50 PhD fellows, are engaged in world class environmental health scientific research and education. The research of IRAS is conducted in three domains: environmental epidemiology, toxicology, and veterinary public health. The mission of the Environmental Epidemiology Division of IRAS is to conduct research on environmental contributors (nongenetic factors with a focus on environmental, occupational and lifestyle exposures) to adverse health effects. IRAS has a strong reputation for producing world class research in environmental exposure science and health. This work is very well cited with several papers in the top 1% of most frequently cited papers in relevant ISI fields. IRAS has been at the forefront of Exposome research. IRAS has been involved in the large EXPOsOMICS project, which was among the first EU-grants on the Exposome. IRAS researchers established the I3CARE Exposome centre which combines research efforts on the Exposome from the University of Toronto, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Utrecht University. IRAS researchers also initiated together with the UMCU the establishment of the Utrecht Exposome Hub, which is an interdisciplinary research Hub of Utrecht Life Sciences in which 45 researchers from 4 faculties have been brought together to accelerate Exposome research at Utrecht University.

Key People

Prof. Roel Vermeulen, PhD

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is a Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Exposome Science. His scientific research focuses on environmental risk factors for non-communicable diseases with a strong emphasis on integrating epidemiology, high quality exposure assessment, and molecular biology into multidisciplinary investigations. He is the director of the Utrecht Exposome Hub. He is the PI of several large case-control and prospective studies in occupational and the general population. He has (had) a leading role in many European collaborative projects in the area of environmental health (Exposomics, HBM4EU, Mobikids, Geronimo, Envirogenomarkers, Goliath, Freia). Dr. Roel Vermeulen has served on many international committees including the WHO and the National Toxicology Program in the US. He is a member of the Dutch Expert Committee for Occupational Standards of the Dutch Health council. He is elected chair of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), Scientific Committee on Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH).

Dr. Gerard Hoek, PhD

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is associate professor in Environmental Exposure Assessment and Health. He has more than 30-year experience in performing research in environmental exposure assessment and epidemiology. He has been principal investigator and senior scientist in a large number of European Union (EU) funded studies in the field of environmental health, coordinating specific work packages of several institutes. He coordinated the EU funded RUPIOH (Relationship between ultrafine and fine particulate matter in indoor and outdoor air and respiratory health) study. He has advised US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EU, WHO, Boston-based Health Effects Institute and other national and international bodies.

Dr. Jelle Vlaanderen, PhD

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is Assistant Professor in Exposome Science. He conducts his research within fields of interest ‘air pollution’, ‘occupational risk factors’, and ‘cancer’. He is one of the partners in HBM4EU. He is a 857340 URBAN_X – Part B 53 member of the Dutch Expert Committee on the Classification of Carcinogenic Substances of the Dutch Health council. He is the coordinator of the yearly ‘molecular epidemiology of chronic disease and the exposome’ course and is active in teaching in both BSc and MSc biomedical curricula in Utrecht.

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