A workshop on ‘Exposome expectations in child health’ was held on 16th-20th October in Leiden, Netherlands. This was an intensive and interactive event for slightly over 20 people from multiple sectors of exposome research. Wide-ranging expertise was gathered! HEDIMED took advantage of being involved in this transdisciplinary, important, and future-oriented work.
The exposome research on children’s health is a complex entity (see picture 1 below). Therefore, the attendees had a challenging task of figuring out, how multifactorial and transdisciplinary approaches could be developed and used efficiently for policies and programmes on the field. How could the existing exposome research be used in the best way? What are the barriers and opportunities in the future?
HEDIMED representatives, Aki Sinkkonen and Olli Laitinen introduced the exposome research in HEDIMED to the group. Additionally, they brought to the workshop their expertise in the environmental microbiome as an exposomic factor and its importance to children’s health.
The final outcome of the workshop is still in progress – The participants are co-writing a white paper. Exposome research has been acknowledged in funding at the EU level, as can be seen from e.g., all the EHEN projects. However, the projects last just a few years and the researcher must apply for funding repeatedly for new projects. To secure long-term multidisciplinary work, researchers discussed that it would be preferable to have a Europe-wide program for the field. HEDIMED follows with interest whether this wish will be realized in the future.
Big thanks to the organizing team of the workshop!!