He has been the Co-director of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona. Now he is the Childhood and Environment Programme Coordinator at ISGlobal. Next to it he is a professor in Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. He is the founder and chair of the INMA birth cohort in Spain and principal investigator of several international studies including the ERC Advanced Grant BREATHE: BRain dEvelopment and Air polluTion ultrafine particles in scHool children.
He has an extensive experience in the area of respiratory and neurodevelopmental epidemiology and the founding and coordination of birth cohorts in Spain as well harmonization of birth cohorts in Europe. Specifically, he has over 20 years of experience conducting research aimed at defining the pre-natal and early life exposure contribution to the child health. His work has included study design, methods development, ascertainment of study cohorts, and statistical analyses. He has a demonstrated record of successful research in the area of the effect of POPs, hormonal disruptors and air pollution on asthma, lung function, obesity and neurodevelopment in children, with around 600 scientific articles, cited more than 20,000 times; and a great activity for the translation of these findings into prevention producing reports, guidelines and recommendations for WHO, for the UN-IPCS programme and in government commissions.
In 2014 he received the most prestigious award in environmental epidemiology, John Goldsmith Prize.
Lines of Research
His main research is about the environmental early life origins of neurodevelopment and cardio respiratory diseases.
- Air Pollution Exposure during Pregnancy and Childhood Autistic Traits in Four European Population-Based Cohort Studies: The ESCAPE Project. Guxens M, Ghassabian A, Gong T, …, Sunyer J. Environ Health Perspect. 2016;2016(1):133-40.
- Traffic pollution exposure is associated with altered brain connectivity in school children. Pujol J, Martínez-Vilavella G, Macià D,…, Sunyer J. Neuroimage. 2016;129:175-84.
- Association between traffic-related air pollution in schools and cognitive development in primary school children: a prospective cohort study. Sunyer J, Esnaola M, Alvarez-Pedrerol M et al. PLoS Med. 2015;12(3):e1001792.
- Green spaces and cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. Dadvand P, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Esnaola M,…, Sunyer J. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015;112(26):7937-42.
- Temporal trends in concentrations and total serum burdens of organochlorine compounds from birth until adolescence and the role of breastfeeding. Gascon M, Vrijheid M, Garí M,…,Sunyer J. Environ Int. 2015 Jan;74:144-51.