The Exposome: A Primer is the first book dedicated to exposomics, detailing the purpose and scope of this emerging field of study, its practical applications and how it complements a broad range of disciplines. Genetic causes account for up to a third of all complex diseases. (As genomic approaches improve, this is likely to rise.) Environmental factors also influence human disease but, unlike with genetics, there is no standard or systematic way to measure the influence of environmental exposures. The exposome is an emerging concept that hopes to address this, measuring the effects of life-long environmental exposures on health and how these exposures can influence disease.

This systematic introduction considers topics of managing and integrating exposome data (including maps, models, computation, and systems biology), "-omics"-based technologies, and more. Both students and scientists in disciplines including toxicology, environmental health, epidemiology, and public health will benefit from this rigorous yet readable overview.


The intended audience for this book is graduate students and professional scientists interested in environmental mediators of disease. These include students and scientists from such disciplines as toxicology, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, genetics, public health, medicine, and nursing.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. The Exposome: Purpose, Definition, and Scope

1.1 Why a Primer?

1.2 What is the Exposome?

1.3 Darwin Would Be Proud

1.4 If it is So Obvious, Why This Book?

1.5 Environmental Health Practitioners

1.6 The Exposome as an Educational Tool

1.7 Discussion Questions

Further Reading

Chapter 2. When the Genome Falls Short: Limitations of a Gene-Centric View of Health

2.1 DNA, No Longer a Secret

2.2 The Gene Versus Environment Continuum

2.3 A Dangerous Metaphor?

2.4 ENCODE Project

2.5 Epigenetics: A Clear Gene–Environment Interface

2.6 Obstacles and Opportunities

2.7 Discussion Questions

Further Reading

Chapter 3. The Explosion of -Omic-Based Technology and its Impact on the Exposome

3.1 The Science of “Me, Too”

3.2 Transcriptome

3.3 Proteome

3.4 Pharmacogenomics/Toxicogenomics

3.5 Epigenomics

3.6 Metabolome

3.7 Microbiome

3.8 What to Do with All of These -Omes

3.9 What Type of Omic is the Exposome?

3.10 Obstacles and Opportunities

3.11 Discussion Questions

Further Reading

Chapter 4. The Exposome in Environmental Health Sciences and Related Disciplines

4.1 Welcome Home Exposome

4.2 Toxicology—Mechanisms of Toxicity

4.3 Exposure Science (or Assessment, or Biology)

4.4 Epidemiology and the Exposome

4.5 Global Epidemiology

4.6 Pesticides as an Example of Strained Relationships

4.7 Obstacles and Opportunities

4.8 Discussion Questions

Further Reading

Chapter 5. Managing and Integrating Exposome Data: Maps, Models, Computation, and Systems Biology

5.1 Maps, Models, and Technology

5.2 Mapping

5.3 Big Data, Really Big

5.4 I am so Smart, S-M-R-T

5.5 Mat


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Academic Press
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About the author

Gary Miller

Gary W. Miller, PhD is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Environmental Health and Associate Dean for Research in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is Director of the HERCULES Exposome Research Center at Emory. His research interests include the role of environmental factors in Parkinson’s disease and the regulation of dopamine signaling in the brain. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Toxicological Sciences, the official journal of the Society of Toxicology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Ph.D., Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean for Research, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, USA


"There is some suggestions for teaching the exposome, including an outline syllabus for a short course, and Miller's ideas about how the science might move forward over the next five to ten years… Overall I found this a useful introduction to the exposome and well worth reading if you want to better understand this new developing science." blog, January 4, 2014