Molecular epidemiology entails the use of profiles of biomarkers (e.g. miRNAs, proteins, small molecules) or functional assays in epidemiological studies to improve exposure and outcome assessment, to elucidate biological mechanisms underlying epidemiological associations, and to enable better risk stratification leading to personalized health. The aims of my research line are to: - Identify and evaluate novel biomarkers for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases using both targeted and untargeted approaches. - Elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases leading to new leads for prevention and treatment. The focus is in particular on the integration of different –omics data in epidemiological studies using a systems biology approach. The research is conducted in close collaboration with laboratory groups, such as the departments of Internal Medicine, Clinical Genetics, Medical Microbiology, and Toxicology, and with groups specializing in complex data-analysis such as the departments of Bioinformatics, and Methodology and Statistics. I am currently involved in three ongoing cohort studies to carry out my research: the KOALA Birth Cohort Study, CODAM, and the Maastricht Study.
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