Environment and Health over the Lifecourse

Environment and Health over the Lifecourse

Web Image for ISGlobal Research Programmes
Photo: Àlex Losada / Barcelona.cat

The Environment and Health over the Lifecourse research programme aims to conduct high-quality integrative research to expand knowledge on the causes and mechanisms of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The programme focuses on environmental, radiation, occupational, lifestyle, social, infectious, and genetic risk factors throughout the lifecourse, from prenatal to late adult life. Key outcomes include respiratory and immune health, neurodevelopment, cardiovascular health and cancer. Our ultimate goal is to prevent and control NCDs, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Specific Goals

  • To assess the prevalence and extent of risk factors and lifetime exposures associated with NCDs, while advancing exposure assessment methods.
  • To understand the causes, development, course and mechanisms of NCDs, with a focus on respiratory and immune health, neurodevelopment and cognitive decline, mental health, cardiovascular and metabolic health, birth and pregnancy outcomes, and cancer.
  • To quantify environmental exposures and NCDs burden, globally, and in low-and-middle income countries and vulnerable populations (e.g., pregnant women, children, elderly, socioeconomically disadvantaged, indigenous peoples and local communities).
  • To inform, improve and promote interventions and policies for primary and secondary prevention of NCDs, including preparedness and resilience to health and climate emergencies.

We build on large population-based, clinical and occupational cohort and case-control studies as powerful platforms for etiological research, and incorporate innovative approaches such as the exposome, omics biomarkers, imaging, and data science. Work in the programme ranges from local to national and global efforts in high and low-and-middle income countries, with international leadership in areas such as exposome, radiation, child health, cancer, and respiratory health research. We have a successful record of research and training in epidemiology and in translation of research findings into policy. Within ISGlobal, successful collaborations are in place with the Severo Ochoa groups, the Climate, Air pollution, Nature and Urban Health and the Global Viral and Bacterial Infections Programme.

Main Research Areas

The Non-communicable Diseases and Environment research area, addresses genetic, molecular, lifestyle and environmental causes of development and progression of NCDs both in high- and low and middle-income countries.

The Childhood and Environment research area evaluates the effects of early-life environmental and lifestyle exposures on child health and development. 

The Radiation research area covers cancer and non-cancer effects of exposure to both ionising and non-ionising radiation, throughout the life course, from medical, environmental and occupational sources and from accidents.

Cross-faculty hubs involving this programme:

Our Team


  • Judith Garcia Aymerich
    Judith Garcia Aymerich Research Professor and Head of the Environment and Health over the Lifecourse Programme
  • Martine Vrijheid
    Martine Vrijheid Research Professor and Head of the Environment and Health over the Lifecourse Programme

Principal lnvestigators of the Programme


Highlighted Projects

e-QuoL project


e-health tools to promote Equality in Quality of Life for childhood to young adulthood cancer patients, survivors and their families


Cohort of COVID-19 in Spain: social dynamics, mental health and inequalities

OMEGA-NET project logo


Network on the Coordination and Harmonisation of European Occupational Cohorts


Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation


Connecting digital mobility assessment to clinical outcomes for regulatory and clinical endorsement


Health effects of cArdiac fluoRoscopy and mOdern radIotherapy in paediatriCs


Drinking Water in Barcelona: Sustainability and Health Impact Assessment


Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health


Novel tools for integrating early-life environmental exposures and child health across Europe

Other projects

See Past Projects


Population based multicasecontrol study on common tumours in Spain


Urban and social environment and childhood obesity – a natural moving2health experiment


The role of seafood and nut consumption on human neurodevelopment from pregnancy to adolescence


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


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


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


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


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


Innovative Tools to Control Organic Matter and Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water


An Exposome Approach to Urban Health: Individualized Environmental Exposure Assessment in an Adults Population Cohort Study (GCAT)


In-Depth Genomics and Cross-Omics Analysis for Undiagnosed Rare Diseases on a User-Friendly Collaborative Platform


Exposome Project for Health and Occupational Research


Early Genetics Growth/Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology


Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics


Combining Artificial Intelligence and smart sensing TOward better management and improved quality of LIFE in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Analysing and studying how night shift work affects workers' circadian rhythms and health


International Human Exposome Network