NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Exposure Research Bolstered by New NIEHS Resource

Dr. David Balshaw
Dr. David Balshaw

Photo:  Steve McCaw

NIEHS is expanding access to resources that give scientists advanced tools to better understand how the interaction of various environmental factors can affect health. The Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource (HHEAR; promises to strengthen research on how chemical, biological and social stressors influence health. 

The program will assist eligible grantees with including such analyses in their studies. HHEAR builds on the success of the earlier Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource. The new initiative is funded until 2024 by NIEHS, NCI, NHLBI and the ECHO program.

Leaders provided details about HHEAR during a recent webinar. “Human health is the product of both genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure, but many human health studies have not fully considered the environmental exposures that may affect an individual’s well-being,” said Dr. David Balshaw, who directs the program. “To better understand how the totality of environmental exposures, known as the exposome, may affect health and lead to disease, researchers need access to the analytical capabilities necessary to accurately measure, record and analyze environmental exposures.” 

HHEAR will provide the following resources at no cost to participating researchers:

• A network of exposure analysis laboratories—these labs will provide cutting-edge technologies to evaluate biological and environmental samples such as blood, urine and drinking water. 

• Data science tools—the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will support data storage, analysis and integration of data generated by the HHEAR labs.

• Administrative support—Westat Corp. will be the primary point of contact between clients and the HHEAR program. The company will coordinate efforts across lab hubs and track projects, materials and analyses.

Find out more about how to apply at—Sheena Scruggs

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