An additional challenge to exposome research is capturing the dynamic and cumulative nature of the environment. Exposures vary over time, in both intensity and occurrence, and data which considers both timing and lifelong progression of potential environmental risk factors is of interest to our lab. The Family Life Project (FLP) is a prospective study of child development in rural areas of the Eastern United States. It follows a cohort of children from birth through adolescence, collecting a rich and cumulative view of their environment. In addition to collecting data on classical exposures—such as diet, physical activity, and geospatial environment—the FLP is rich in psychosocial measurements. It well-characterizes the social and interpersonal dimensions of the participants’ upbringings, which is another facet of the environment with implications on future health disparities. Using FLP data, we pursue research to model long-term, evolving exposures and their impact on future health; our goal is to identify particular stressors early in life which may predispose individuals to later negative health outcomes.
This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Hatch Appropriations under Project #PEN04275 and Accession #1018544