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Molecular evidence for lifestyle habits

Project description

Molecular estimates of lifestyle habits

It is widely accepted that a healthy diet and increased physical activity constitute fundamental determinants of health and well-being. However, this evidence comes from questionnaires on lifestyle factors that are subject to interpretation, such as nutrition and smoking, creating the need for more objective research methods to measure these habits. Scientists of the EU-funded Lifestyle Analytics project will employ state-of-the-art metabolomics techniques to identify metabolites, nutrients and toxicants associated with lifestyle-related parameters. The idea is to mature these measures into clinical-grade laboratory tests and offer more reliable insight into health while reducing healthcare costs.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) is spearheading the promotion of healthy diets and increased physical activity as it claims that these are the leading factors affecting health and well-being in Western countries. This claim rests on numerous clinical studies which linked lifestyle-related factors (e.g. nutrition, physical activity, smoking) to good or bad health outcomes. Corresponding data are generally based on questionnaires, and the usefulness of these data strongly relies on the honesty of participants and how well they remember past exposures. However, it is known that when it comes to lifestyle, participants tend to overestimate habits that are generally considered as ‘good’ and, in turn, underestimate those that are considered as ‘bad’. There is thus a need for more objective research methods to measure these habits in order to gain better and more reliable insights in how they affect our health. Such methods can furthermore become valuable tools in clinical practice by contributing to the prevention or even treatment of diseases through lifestyle changes. In this project, I aim to identify low-molecular-weight compounds, including metabolites, nutrients, and toxicants, that associate with lifestyle-related parameters using state-of-the-art ‘metabolomics’ techniques. For promising compounds or compound combinations, I will then develop high-throughput, targeted methods and validate them according to regulatory standards. These methods can subsequently mature to clinical-grade laboratory tests which would help in cutting health care costs and improving health and well-being. At last, for the proposed work I will be carrying out an innovative project at a top-level European university. I will accordingly be granted the opportunity to gain new experiences, learn new techniques, expand my network, and mature as scientific researcher which will support me in my ambition to become an independent research group leader in the near future.


Net EU contribution
€ 203 149,44
Rue du general dufour 24
1211 Geneve

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Région lémanique Genève
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00