Professor Paolo Vineis
Chair in Environmental Epidemiology
School of Public Health
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3372
Professor Paolo Vineis
Since 2004, Chair of Environmental Epidemiology, Imperial College, London, UK
Since 2001: Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York
Since 1999: Head, Section of Epidemiology and Life Sciences, Foundation ”Institute for Scientific Interchange” (ISI), Torino: http://lnx.dgtmediadev.com/isi/main.php?liv1=research&liv2=division
Epidemiological research on climate change is conducted at the Grantham Institute on Climate Change at Imperial College http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/climatechange/research/networks/health
For details on research activities and composition of Working Group see below: Chair of Environmental Epidemiology Working Group
Director of course - Global Health
Other appointments and honours
- 1992-1994: President, Italian Association of Epidemiology
- Since 1995: member of the Advisory Group, Italian Section of the International Cochrane Collaboration
- 1995-1998: member of the Scientific Council, International Agency for Research on Cancer
- Since 2000 member of the Ethical Committee, College of Physicians, Torino
- 2003 - Member of the scientific committee, Italian Association for Cancer Research
- 2004-2010 Member of the Advisory Board, UK Molecular Epidemiology group
- 2005 - Committee on carcinogenicity of chemicals of the UK Department of Health (COC).
- 2007-2010 Member, Consiglio Superiore di Sanità (Department of Health, Italy)
- 2007 - Member, Operational Committee Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College
- 2008 - Member, Scientific Board, BIOS Centre for Studies in Biopolitics, University of Piemonte Orientale
- 2008 - Member, Ethics and Governing Council , UK Biobank, Wellcome Trust
- 2008 - M ember, Scientific Advisory Board, Canceropole Paris Ile-de-France
- 2009 - PI, Biomarkers section, MRC/HPA Centre for Environment and Health at ICL and King's College
- 2010 – Vice-Chair, Ethical Committee, International Agency for Research on Cancer
- Vineis P; et al. Metabolic Polymorphisms and Susceptibility to Cancer. 48. INTERNATIONAL AGENCY FOR RESEARCH ON CANCER (1999).
- Vineis P. Nel crepuscolo della probabilita'. Einaudi (1999).
Since 1993: Editorial Consultant of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Since 1995: member of the Editorial Board of Biomarkers
Since 1998: member of the Editorial Board of Mutation Research-Reviews in Mutation Research
Since 2000: member of the Editorial Board, International Journal of Cancer
Since 2003 member of the Editorial Board, Cancer Epidemiology. Biomarkers and Prevention
Since 2004 member of the Editorial Board, Carcinogenesis
Since 2008 member of the Editorial Board, European Journal of Cancer
Since 2009 Associate Editor, Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
Since 2009 Associate Editor, European Journal of Clinical Investigations
Since 2010 Senior Editor, Mutagenesis
2005 - Distinguished lectures in occupational and environmental epidemiology: ”The integration of mechanistic data into the evaluation of environmental carcinogens”, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda (USA), Branch of Epidemiology, National Cancer Institute
2010 Enrico Fermi Award for best Italian book on public understanding of science
Chair of Environmental Epidemiology Working Group
BIOMARKERS RESEARCH (Paolo Vineis, Shu-Chun Chuang, Toby Athersuch)
This stream of research aims at developing and validating biomarkers and incorporating them into epidemiological research, particularly longitudinal studies. Examples of such research include (a) EnviroGenoMarkers, a collaborative project in which genomics, metabonomics and transcriptomics are used to characterize exposure to environmental contaminants and identify intermediate markers that lead to chronic diseases; and (b) studies on epigenomics (gene methylation patterns) in lung cancer conducted in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Gene-environment interactions are another stream of research that incorporates markers of susceptibility into epidemiological studies. Both candidate genes and signals from genome-wide investigations are used in models of gene-environment interactions and predictive models for cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
In addition the Department EPH hosts a database of biomarker-based studies conducted in Europe, to be used for pooled analyses, set up within the ECNIS (www.ecnis.org) EC-sponsored Network.
P Vineis coordinates with Pierre Hainaut (IARC, Lyon) the Molecular Biomarkers Working Group of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH (Aneire Khan, Wei Xun, Paolo Vineis)
The projected changes in the climate are likely to bring about adverse effects on human health, disproportionately affecting poorer populations. The evidence of direct and indirect health impacts is still limited. Attributing health-related events to climate change and variability is a challenge which requires the development of new epidemiological methods that take into account the complexities involved.
This research network focuses on both non-communicable and infectious diseases, as well as on different regional contexts (Bangladesh/China and Tanzania/Africa) in order to develop robust epidemiological and modelling frameworks for investigating and predicting the impact that regional climate change and variability can have on the health of societies in vulnerable locations. For further information e-mail email@example.com
NEUROEPIDEMIOLOGY (Valentina Gallo)
Neurodegenerative diseases are chronic disorders affecting the nervous system and impairing one or more of its functions. The incidence of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis increases with advancing age, and their prevalence is projected to rise substantially in the next decades worldwide due to the aging populations, emerging into a major public health priority. Apart from some familial forms representing a small proportion of all cases, the majority of neurodegenerative disease cases are sporadic, and their main risk factors remain unknown.
This research focuses on the identification of environmental and genetic risk factors for neurodegenerative disease, and their interactions in promoting the onset of disease. Specific strategies, such as tools for ascertaining, validating, and monitoring neurodegenerative diseases, and for exploiting the great amount of data already collected within large cohort studies are being developed. This also integrates with molecular epidemiology projects to develop and use biomarkers in epidemiological research.
For further information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ENVIROGENOMARKERS (Marc Chadeau, Paolo Vineis, Hector Keun)
This project is the first large-scale application of the whole range of –omics technologies in a population study aiming at a) the discovery and validation of novel biomarkers predict increased risks of chronic diseases in which the environment may play an important role (breast cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, allergy, neurological and immune diseases, thyroid disruption), b) the exploration of the association of such risk biomarkers with environmental exposures, including high-priority pollutants (carcinogens and immunotoxicants such as PCBs and PAHs, neurotoxicants such as cadmium, lead and ambient air pollution) and emerging exposures (such as phthalates and brominated flame retardants), and c) the discovery and validation of biomarkers of exposure to the above and other high-priority environmental exposures (e.g. water disinfection byproducts).
The project will make use of three existing prospective cohorts, a design which avoids problems of recall bias and interference of the disease process. Cancer-related biomarkers will be developed by conducting a case-control study nested within the Northern Sweden Health & Disease Study and EPIC-Italy cohorts, which contain bio-samples collected prior to disease diagnosis, dietary, exposure and life style information and follow-up health histories. The levels of biomarkers will be compared in 600 cases of breast cancer, 300 cases of NHL and equal numbers of matched controls, to evaluate their risk predictivity. Biomarkers related to chronic diseases which establish themselves in early childhood but persist into adult life will be evaluated using the Rhea mother-child cohort on the island of Crete.
ESCAPE (Wei Xun, Paolo Vineis)
ESCAPE (European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects) is a collaboration of more than 30 European cohort studies including some 900,000 subjects. It is aimed at quantifying health impacts of air pollution and at reducing uncertainty. ESCAPE will also test new hypotheses on specific health effects of air pollution. ESCAPE will focus on effects of within-city, within-area and within-country contrasts in air pollution. It will make measurements of airborne particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in selected regions in Europe. It will measure the chemical composition of the collected particles and it will store samples for future chemical and toxicological analyses. The objectives of the study are:
1. to develop a flexible methodology for assessment of long-term population exposure to air pollution focused primarily on fine particles, particle composition, and nitrogen oxides.
2. to apply the exposure assessment methodology on existing cohort studies of mortality and chronic disease in Europe that have been selected based on their potential to quantify relationships between longterm exposure and health response precisely.
3. specifically, to investigate exposure-response relationships and thresholds for (a) adverse perinatal health outcomes, and development of diseases such as asthma in children; (b) respiratory disease endpoints in adults; (c) cardiovascular disease endpoints in adults; (d) all-cause and cause-specific mortality, and cancer incidence.
4. to develop a database for quantitative estimates of the health impacts of long-term exposure to air pollution for all of these health endpoints for the European population.
HYPERGENES and other GWAS (Clive Hoggart, Paolo Vineis)
Most of the common-complex, chronic diseases, that have a high prevalence in our populations, arise through interaction between genetic, environmental and life-style factors. To understand the composite origin of these diseases, we need to know the path from genotype to phenotype. A complex trait is phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous and thus requires a global genomic approach to understand its etiology and pathogenesis. Such a global approach has not been feasible until recently. So far, all experimental investigations dealt with single components (e.g., genes) of the whole pattern: however relevant the findings, we still lack a broader and comprehensive view of a complex disease per se. To define a comprehensive genetic epidemiological model of complex traits, Hypergenes applies new, but already well-established technologies of high throughput genotyping, analyzed with sophisticated statistical-mathematical modelling, to already existing cohorts of subjects with essential hypertension (EH) and intermediate phenotypes of hypertension dependent/associated Target Organ Damages (TOD).
For further information see: http://www.hypergenes.eu/
We also develop analytical models to investigate gene-environment and gene-gene interactions in GWAS for other diseases, in particular lung cancer.
For further information e-mail email@example.com
ECNIS (Valentina Gallo, Aneire Khan, Paolo Vineis)
ECNIS (Environmental Cancer Risk, Nutrition and Individual Susceptibility) is a Network of Excellence operating in the context of the 6th EU Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP6). Launched in May 2005, ECNIS brings together some of the best European research groups active in the area of environmental cancer and its modulation by nutrition and genetic makeup, into a durable network of partners to conduct high-class research on cancer causation and prevention.
The vision of ECNIS is the creation of a dynamic research network which will work to decrease cancer incidence by
- identifying chemicals or other factors in the environment and food which cause cancer,
- elucidating the mechanisms by which dietary and lifestyle patterns increase or decrease cancer risk,
- facilitating the development of new foods with cancer-preventive properties,
- discovering genetic (hereditary) factors which make individuals more or less susceptible to cancer,
- formulating improved approaches to the risk assessment of carcinogens
A major approach employed in ECNIS research is the use of biomarkers of carcinogenesis. Biomarkers of carcinogenesis are usually substances which can be measured in body fluids or tissues and provide information about a person's exposure to carcinogens or about cellular damage caused by carcinogens far earlier than the appearance of clinical disease. Furthermore, genetic polymorphisms can serve as biomarkers of individual susceptibility to carcinogenesis. ECNIS research also addresses the mechanisms by which chemicals alter cellular processes to cause cancer and the way in which food components intervene in these mechanisms. It also aims to improve cancer risk assessment, and to address important socio-ethical issues arising from the use of biomarker technology. Currently the ECNIS Network consists of 25 partners which represent a multi-disciplinary team of nearly 200 scientists, including toxicologists, epidemiologists, food and nutrition scientists, chemists and molecular biologists. Coming from 13 European countries, the ECNIS partner institutions represent regions and populations with diverse climates, pollution levels and dietary habits, thus providing unique opportunities for the assessment of the impact on cancer risk of environmental exposures and dietary patterns over a wide range of variation, and enabling population studies on a pan-European scale. In addition to conducting research, ECNIS aims to train new researchers, to spread scientific information about cancer causation and prevention to the general public and health professionals, to provide scientific support about risk assessment of carcinogens to regulators, non-governmental organisations and industry, and generally to promote the objective of a Science-and-Society dialogue in its area of interest. For further information see: www.ecnis.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
STATISTICAL MODELING (SEM)(Valeria T Baltar)
The overall aim of the project is to evaluate the causal pathway between air pollution concentrations and lung cancer, considering biomarkers as intermediate steps in the pathway. The data come from Genair, a case-control study nested within the EPIC cohort. Air pollutants included in the study are NO2, SO2, O3 and PM10 and DNA adducts are used as intermediate biomarker (N>1,000). The investigation of the pathway is done by structural equation modeling (SEM) and effects are expressed in the form of odds ratios. This project is complementary to the application of “profile modeling” to the same and other datasets on lung cancer (within the ILCCO consortium), by Michail Papathomas, John Molitor (Sylvia Richardson’s group) and Clive Hoggart. For further information e-mail email@example.com
SOCIAL EPIDEMIOLOGY (Valentina Gallo, Paolo Vineis)
This branch of epidemiology studies the social determinant of health, and investigates how social inequalities (socio-economic status, SES) can impact on individual health. In the scientific literature, data on individual health determinants (including SES) comparing subjects from different populations are limited. Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), we are investigating social determinants predicting mortality or cancer incidence over time in 10 different European countries. This research will contribute to understanding the role of social inequalities (such as lower income or restricted access to health care) in promoting disease incidence, and will ultimately guide public health interventions aimed at reducing the health inequality gap within populations.
For further information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ANTHROPOMETRY AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE PREDICTION (Mansour Taghavi Azar Sharabiani)
We are developing a prognostic model to estimate the risk of cardiovascular (CVD) mortality over ten-year period. The model will incorporate anthropometrics into the CVD risk estimations as an improvement over the usual CVD risk models. This goal will be achieved via examining both ‘prognostic value’ of adding anthropometric variables into the current set of the SCORE’s risk predictors and the prognostic value of replacing blood cholesterol levels by anthropometric measures. The latter might facilitate the estimation of CVD risk in large populations without requiring laboratory involvement.
For further information e-mail email@example.com
- Johansson M. Serum B Vitamin Levels and Risk of Lung Cancer. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 303:2377-2377. DOI.
- Shenker NS; Polidoro S; van Veldhoven K; Sacerdote C; Ricceri F; Birrell MA; Belvisi MG; Brown R; et alVineis P; Flanagan JM. (1 Mar 2013). Epigenome-wide association study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Turin) identifies novel genetic loci associated with smoking. Hum Mol Genet. 22:843-851. Author weblink DOI.
- Chuang SC; Norat T; Murphy N; Olsen A; Tjønneland A; Overvad K; Boutron-Ruault MC; Perquier F; et alDartois L; Kaaks R; Teucher B; Bergmann MM; Boeing H; Trichopoulou A; Lagiou P; Trichopoulos D; Grioni S; Sacerdote C; Panico S; Palli D; Tumino R; Peeters PH; Bueno-de-Mesquita B; Ros MM; Brustad M; Åsli LA; Skeie G; Quirós JR; González CA; Sánchez MJ; Navarro C; Ardanaz Aicua E; Dorronsoro M; Drake I; Sonestedt E; Johansson I; Hallmans G; Key T; Crowe F; Khaw KT; Wareham N; Ferrari P; Slimani N; Romieu I; Gallo V; Riboli E; Vineis P. (Jul 2012). Fiber intake and total and cause-specific mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 96:164-174. Author weblink DOI.
- Hoggart C; Brennan P; Tjonneland A; Vogel U; Overvad K; Østergaard JN; Kaaks R; Canzian F; et alBoeing H; Steffen A; Trichopoulou A; Bamia C; Trichopoulos D; Johansson M; Palli D; Krogh V; Tumino R; Sacerdote C; Panico S; Boshuizen H; Bueno-de-Mesquita HB; Peeters PH; Lund E; Gram IT; Braaten T; Rodríguez L; Agudo A; Sánchez-Cantalejo E; Arriola L; Chirlaque MD; Barricarte A; Rasmuson T; Khaw KT; Wareham N; Allen NE; Riboli E; Vineis P. (Jun 2012). A risk model for lung cancer incidence. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 5:834-846. Author weblink DOI.
- Gallo V; Egger M; McCormack V; Farmer PB; Ioannidis JP; Kirsch-Volders M; Matullo G; Phillips DH; et alSchoket B; Stromberg U; Vermeulen R; Wild C; Porta M; Vineis P; STROBE Statement. (Oct 2011). STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology--Molecular Epidemiology (STROBE-ME): an extension of the STROBE Statement. PLoS Med. 8:e1001117. Author weblink DOI.