ECTMIH Academy presents George Downward - An interactive introduction to Exposome Science

Course code
Course fee

Our health is shaped by environmental factors that we humans are exposed to on a daily basis: what we eat, the air we breathe, our social interactions and lifestyle choices such as smoking and exercising. It explains an estimated 70% of the chronic disease burden. Since most aspects of our environment are modifiable, this provides a huge potential for disease prevention. Leading scientist have formalised the sum of all these environmental drivers of health and diseases as the exposome.

The exposome concept is trying to capture everything to understand which, how, in what quantities, and in what circumstances environmental drivers have an effect on our health.

Following a plenary introduction, this workshop will include a group-based walking tour (weather permitting) of Utrecht will be used to highlight the main features of the external exposome:

  • Food environment
  • Built environment
  • Social environment
  • Physico-chemical environment

This interactive workshops highlights structures which contribute to one or more of these environments (as well as giving some history of the city). At the same time we will use GPS tracking and real-time noise/pollution sensors to measure changes during the walk. We'll also encourage participants to take/share pictures during the walk.

Back at the central venue, we will combine photos, real-time data, and our route to highlight the components of the exposome we encountered and what potential health effects we may consider arising from them. This will be used as a reflection point for participants to consider the exposome in their communities & to brainstorm how they can apply the exposure lens in their own work.

Course director
Dr. Martin Heine


Dr. George Downward is an assistant professor at the University Medical Center Utrecht and affiliated researcher at Utrecht University with a focus on environmental and planetary health research. He has a background in clinical medicine, global health, and environmental epidemiology and his research focuses on how our changing environment impacts our health, particularly in low-resource settings. George will be supported by Judith Holtjer and Laura Houweling who are both PhD candidates at the Utrecht University Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS).


Target audience

This workshop is open to all interested in the research and relationship between environment and health; those attending the ECTMIH conference as well as non-attendees.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials + lunch
Extra information about the fee

Different registration fees apply*:

Early bird fees (deadline for registration 3rd of November 2023)

  • Early bird fee: €80,-
  • LMIC** based participants: €40,-

Full registration fee (deadline for registration 17th of November 2023)

  • Full fee: €100,-
  • LMIC** based participants: €60,-

* Please note that any discounts to the full fee (100 euro) will be applied after registration, and only the discounted fee (when applicable) is due for payment following registration.

**LMIC are lower and (upper and lower-)middle income countries, as classified by the World Bank. Participants can apply for the LMIC fee based on the location of the institution they are affiliated to. People from LMIC who e.g., are affiliated to a Dutch university for their PhD will pay the regular fee.


For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:


Contact details


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
17 November 2023