Biomarkers of Exposure, Effect, and Susceptibility (BEES)

Co-led by Drs. Pierce (UChicago) and Argos (UIC)

The Biomarkers of Exposure, Effect, and Susceptibility (BEES) focus group members share a common interest in using diverse types of biomarker data to measure environmental exposures, evaluate the effects of exposures on health, including genetic susceptibility, and understand the biology and relevant pathways underlying those exposure effects.The classes of biomarker measurements of interest include a) measures of chemical exposures and their metabolites in human biological samples, b) measures of physiological perturbations attributable to exposure (e.g., inflammation, microbiome, DNA damage), and c) genetic susceptibility factors that modify the effects of exposure (e.g., GWAS and next-generation sequencing data).The members are particularly interested in biomarkers characterizing exposure to metals, air and organic pollutants, and their downstream effects on cancer, cardiovascular, endocrine, metabolic and pulmonary diseases, as well as other chronic health conditions. BEES members are involved in various multi-ethnic epidemiological studies of Chicago residents to address environmental health issues, including COMPASS; National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project; the Rush Memory and Aging Project; the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos; and the UIC Cohort of Patients, Family and Friends.