Childhood and Environment

Photo: woodleywonderworks

Children’s health is considered a priority at the international level—and also at ISGlobal. Our Childhood and Environment programme focuses on evaluating the effects of environmental pollutants on children’s health , with particular emphasis on exposure during pregnancy and the postnatal period. The figure below describes the main areas of research interest in this field:

 

 

  1. Exposures
    —Urban environment (e.g. air pollution, noise, green spaces, pedestrian areas, temperature, light)
    —Indoor pollution (e.g. air pollution, mould)
    —Water pollution (e.g. chlorination by-products, microplastics)
    —Toxic chemical compounds (e.g. persistent organic pollutants, bisphenol A, phthalates, pesticides, heavy metals)
    —Electromagnetic fields
    —Lifestyle (e.g. nutrition, physical activity, sleep)
    —Social determinants (e.g. restrictions, socio-economic status, education)
    —Genetics
  2. Biological responses
    —Epigenetics
    —Metabolomics and proteins
    —Immune system
    —Microbiota
  3. Health impacts
    —Neurodevelopment and mental health
    —Obesity and cardiometabolic health
    —Respiratory health and allergies
    —Foetal growth and birth outcomes
    —Puberty

ISGlobal-Led Birth Cohorts

Within the Childhood and Environment programme, there is a strong focus on longitudinal birth cohort research. We are currently leading a Spanish network of birth cohorts called the INMA Environment and Childhood Project as well as the BiSC birth cohort (in Barcelona and the surrounding metropolitan area).

 

ISGlobal-Led Birth Cohort Networks

ISGlobal has also been instrumental in building a birth cohort network in Europe through three European projects: ENRIECO, from 2009 to 2011; CHICOS, from 2010 to 2013; and LIFECYCLE, from 2017 to 2021. These efforts have resulted in a framework for data sharing and harmonisation across than 30 European birth cohorts.

Our Team

Head

  • Martine Vrijheid
    Martine Vrijheid Head of the Childhood and Environment Programme, Research Professor

Our Team

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Highlighted Projects

APACHE

Air Pollution, Autism spectrum disorders, and brain imaging in CHildren amongst Europe

LIFECYCLE

Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health

ATHLETE

Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation

MOOD COVID Project

MOOD-COVID

Pre- and post-natal Maternal mental health and newbOrn neurOdevelopment during the COVID-19 panDemic

EUCAN-connect project

EUCAN-Connect

A federated FAIR platform enabling large-scale analysis of high-value cohort data connecting Europe and Canada in personalized health

OBERON Project

OBERON

An integrative strategy of testing systems for identification of EDs related to metabolic disorders

AURORA 2021 project

AURORA 2021

Actionable eUropean ROadmap for early-life health Risk Assessment of micro- and nanoplastics

Other projects

See Past Projects

The Lungfit Project

Socioeconomic Status, Physical Activity, and Respiratory Health in Pregnant Women, Children, and Adolescents

ExPEC-TEEN

Prenatal Exposure to Environmental Pollutants and Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health of the Teenagers

HELIX-NAFLD

Developmental origins of child liver injury: the effect of early life environmental exposures

ELHNA

Exposures to light pollution and heat, and neurodevelopment in adolescents

AIR-NB

Pre-natal exposure to urban AIR pollution and pre- and post-Natal Brain development

FRONTIER

Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Birth Weight: the Roles of Noise, Placental Function, Green Space, Physical Activity, and Socioeconomic Status

The APBO Project

Air Pollution and Birth Outcomes: Windows of Exposure and Health and Economic Impact Assessment

UrbaMet

Entorno Urbano y Salud Cardiometabólica desde el Nacimiento hasta la Adolescencia

NutriPROGRAM

Early-life Nutritional Programming of Metabolic Health through Epigenetic Pathways

ONES

Fine Particle Matter, Fetal Growth, and Neurodevelopment: Examining Critical Windows of Susceptibility