Roel Vermeulen is Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Exposome Science at Utrecht University and the director of the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht. He holds an adjunct professor position at the Julius Center, Department Public Health Healthcare Innovation and Medical Humanities (UMC Utrecht) and a Visiting Professorship at Imperial College London, UK.
One of his main research areas is the exploration of new methods for quantifying the external and internal exposome. The exposome concept refers to all environmental factors that we humans are exposed to on a daily basis: what we eat, the air we breathe, our social interactions and lifestyle choices such as smoking and exercising. Interacting with the genome, the exposome defines individual health at different stages throughout the life course, incl. foetal life.
Vermeulen is the chair of the European Human Exposome Network (EHEN). This is the world’s largest network of projects studying the impact of environmental exposure on human health. It brings together 9 research projects, receiving over €100 million from Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation. The projects address issues such as exposures to air quality, noise, chemicals and urbanisation. The projects’ results will contribute to advancing the European Green Deal’s ambition to protect citizens’ health and well-being from pollution and environmental deterioration.