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Your Environment. Your Health.

Investigating the Chemical Exposome and Its Interaction with Drugs

NIEHS Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series
February 25, 2021

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Literature on Exposome

View a list of publications related to the exposome in PubMed.


The NIEHS Strategic Plan places a significant emphasis on transforming exposure science through the development of new approaches to exposure assessment, the definition and dissemination of the exposome concept, and the development and demonstration of the exposome as a tool for both epidemiological and mechanistic research. In order to achieve this goal, NIEHS launched the Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series on April 4, 2014 to foster discussions on international efforts in advancing exposure science and the exposome concept as well as challenges and opportunities in incorporating this concept in environmental health research.


Many environmental and food-related chemicals have the potential to interact with drugs and may influence therapeutic efficacy and side effects. To date, this concept of ‘drug-exposome interactions’ has not been systematically investigated [1]. However, adverse effects have been observed between these xenobiotics and a number of drugs, including chemotherapeutics for breast or colon cancer therapy. This contribution will discuss known examples and highlight how technological advances in mass spectrometry-based metabolomics/exposomics now enable a broad and systemic investigation of co-exposure and interactions at the systems toxicology level. A specific example includes the interplay between the two dietary xenoestrogens genistein and zearalenone and the palbociclib/letrozole combination breast cancer therapy [2].


[1] Pristner & Warth (2020) Drug-Exposome Interactions: The Next Frontier in Precision Medicine. Trends Pharmacol Sci

[2] Warth et al. (2018) Metabolomics Reveals that Dietary Xenoestrogens Alter Cellular Metabolism Induced by Palbociclib/Letrozole Combination Cancer Therapy. Cell Chem Biol

About the Speaker

Benedikt Warth, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Vienna, where he founded the Global Exposomics and Biomonitoring Laboratory in 2017. Before returning to Austria, he was an Erwin-Schrödinger fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California where he developed and applied novel metabolomics technology to research questions in the fields of cancer research, exposure sciences, and systems toxicology. His current research focus is in the area of omics-scale exposure assessment and analytical food chemistry to better understand the in vivo and in vitro effects of environmental and food contaminants. He has received nine scientific awards including the Young Investigators Award and the Feigl-Prize from the Austrian Society of Analytical Chemistry and is author or co-author of about 95 peer-reviewed publications (H-index: 36; Number of times cited: >3800).

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