With tens of thousands of chemicals in our environment and more introduced every day, the exposome measures these complex, non-genetic exposures we face and their impact on our health. Both conceptually and practically, the exposome provides a holistic view of human health and disease. It includes exposures from our diets, our lifestyles, and our behaviors. It also includes how our bodies respond to these challenges. When coupled with advances in genetics and medicine, the potential of the exposome will help lead to improved strategies aimed at preventing and treating diseases, such as autism, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Experts at Columbia are in the pursuit of a Human Exposome Project, similar to the Human Genome Project, to help reveal the importance of the environment in our lives. Our exposome experts use analytical platforms that can measure more than 20,000 of exogenous and endogenous chemicals at once on a drop of blood, saliva, or urine, as well as in any other biofluids and tissues.