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Expanding interest in exposome research

Damali Martin
Damali MARTIN,
Program Director,
Division of Neuroscience (DN)
Dr. Emerald Nguyen wearing a suit and glasses and she is smiling in her photo.
Emerald NGUYEN,
Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR).

Researchers continue to seek a better understanding of how the exposome — the measure of all the environmental exposures over an individual’s lifetime and how they relate to health — contributes to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias outcomes. The exposome includes chemicals, pollutants, lifestyle factors, socioeconomic influences, and stressors that affect us throughout life.

Check out NIA’s latest exposome information!

NIA-supported researchers are analyzing exposome data to unravel the complex interactions and underlying mechanisms connecting these environmental factors and disease outcomes. If you are interested in this growing field, be sure to read our latest information exploring the role of the exposome in aging and age-related diseases, which includes four new funding opportunities.

  • Precision Environmental Health in AD/ADRD Tri-Consortium (three separate opportunities); applications due Oct. 10, 2023:
    • Understanding Gene-Environment Interactions in Brain Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD) (RFA-AG-24-021) supports investigators studying how an individual’s genetic makeup and environmental factors interact to influence health and aging-related outcomes.
    • Quantifying the Impact of Environmental Toxicants on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD) Risk in Cohort Studies (RFA-AG-24-022) supports multidisciplinary teams studying the impact of environmental exposures on Alzheimer’s and related dementias risk across diverse populations. Researchers will enrich existing longitudinal studies with measures of exposures to toxicants and the body’s response to them.
    • Preclinical Studies to Characterize the Impact of Toxicants on Brain Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD) (RFA-AG-24-023) supports multidisciplinary teams using mouse models to investigate the effects of harmful substances in the environment on brain aging and Alzheimer’s and related dementias. By examining how early-life exposures affect brain health in later years, researchers aim to understand how genes and gender differences affect environmental exposures and Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
  • Research Coordinating Center on the Exposome and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD): Elucidating the Role of Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health in AD/ADRD Etiology and Disparities; applications due Oct. 27, 2023: (RFA-AG-24-011) will establish a national coordinating center to support the development of guidance and practices for the use and harmonization of social, behavioral, psychological, and economic exposure data relevant to Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

How to get involved

If you are interested in developing a research project for any of these funding opportunities, we welcome the chance to discuss your ideas. If you have questions, visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, email Damali or Emerald, or leave a comment below!

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