Environment and Health Prediction in Populations

Group designation: EHPP, Environment and Health Prediction in Populations

Scientific thematic and aims:

Our research is focused on modelling and analysis of environmental and industrial health risks. The scientific areas concerned are public health, biomarkers, spatial epidemiology and biomathematics.
Research and identification of the environmental determinants of health in populations is part of the national proposals included in the Environment and Health National Program (EHNP), Climate Program (CP), and in the Health and Work Program (HWP). One of the goals is the development of models of exposure, markers of exposure and effects at different biological levels, predictive investigations for impact evaluation and long term monitoring programs.
However, the implementation of a coordinated approach to analyze the environmental and industrial emission sources, the exposition levels and the effects in human and animal populations (which are likely to be both the first targets and vectors of indirect contamination for instance via the trophic chain), is only seldom undertaken.

Research Topics:

• Biomarkers of exposition and effects in toxicology
Development of biological marker reflecting the exposition and the response to an environmental aggression possibly modulated by external or internal factors. We will focus on the development of new bio-markers for low exposure to different genotoxic mixtures (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals and ultraviolet), and on the response of the organism, especially on DNA (adducts, oxidized bases, strand breaks). After conducting studies on cell models corresponding to the real potential targets in human, we have undertaken investigations in different human populations to study toxicokinetic of different mixtures and validate relevant biomarkers for health risk assessment of exposed populations

• Modeling of sanitary risks and impacts of the environment

Integrated study of sanitary risks and impacts associated to nuisances and environmental (natural and industrial) changes, at several space-time scales (individual and populational levels versus local and regional environment). To study the impact of spatial and temporal variations of environmental factors on diseases emergence, we proceed as follow: (i) modeling the within population reaction – diffusion processes; (ii) study the methodological problems related to disparate scales between epidemiological, environmental and climatic models; (iii) establish a diagnostic of our capability of generating impact scenarios.

Networks of Surveillance of emerging pathologies: Developing tools and methods for early detection of emerging diseases from surveillance networks at human (occupational diseases) and animal (climatic – dependent diseases) levels. Research studies are being conducted based upon the mass of clinical data from the national vigilance network of occupational pathologies (RNVPP) that collects more than 20 000 problems of occupational pathologies recorded from all CHU. Accordingly, statistical methods, based on the spatial and temporal analysis of incident cases, are developed for detection of emergence (Fig. 1).

Environmental Impacts and Risk Assessment Studies: Developing models to take into account: (i) changes of scales: from individuals to populations; (ii) structure and dynamics of networks of complex interactions between hosts and pathological agents; (iii) the notion of trajectory of exposure. In complement to previous works, methods of sanitary and environmental risk assessment are also developed (using, for instance, Remote sensing technology). These methods allow the estimation of risk levels and impacts on exposed populations from exposition markers both in the toxicology and infectiology fields (Fig. 2).

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Figure 1. Exposome: modelling network of interactions between diseases and expositions (Réseau National de Vigilance et de Prévention des Pathologies Professionnelles, RNV3P) (PhD of Laurie Faisandier, 2010).

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Figure 2. Contact risks: modelling of health risk associated to the diffusion of the avain influenza inside populations of anatidée, located in an environment constituted of pounds, Les Dombes. (PhD of Delphine Doctrinale, 2009).

Strong points of our team:

• By regrouping researchers specialized in modelling, toxicology, ecotoxicology and epidemiology, around the thematic “Environment and Health ” we have been able to develop a Research Master, specialty MREH “ Methods for Research in Environment and Health ”. This master is dedicated to the education of future scientists and researchers able to answer to the current questions, emanating from individuals as well as from the public authorities, about the relationships between environmental risk factors and pathologies emergence.

• Strong Valorization through national or regional collaborations with different industrial partners (Rio Tinto, Métro, AREA, Record, industries involved in photo-protection…), and also through numerous actions of formation training for professionals managed by all the actors involved in prevention.

• Scientific Collaborations, through different research programs with:

- The university teams working in the field of "Occupational Health", from Lausanne, Manchester and Montréal; and the clinical services for occupational pathologies from the 27 French CHU via the network: "Réseau National de Vigilance des Pathologies Professionnelles et de Médecine du Travail du Personnel Hospitalier".

- The agencies of Public Health: WHO, InVS, AFSSA, ANSES; and the Consortium for Space Surveillance of Heanth (S2E): CNES Consortium, Pasteur Institute.

- The local laboratories (Grenoble) working in the Environmental field: GRECA, LESAM-TEPE, LECA-PEX, CEA-LAN, Institute for Metals in Biology, ESRF, LTHE

Laboratoire TIMC-IMAG, Domaine de la Merci, 38706 La Tronche Cedex

Grenoble INP
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