Prof. dr. ir. R.C.H. (Roel) Vermeulen

One Health Epidemiology Chemical Agents

“The exposome is the missing link between gene and health.”

Roel Vermeulen is Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Exposome Science at Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht. He is Scientific Director of the Institute for Preventive Health (i4PH), part of the EUWW strategic alliance, as well an MT member of the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Sciences. He holds an adjunct professor position at the Julius Center, Department Public Health Healthcare Innovation and Medical Humanities (UMC Utrecht) and a Visiting Professorship at Imperial College London, UK.


Research focus: environmental risk assessment

His scientific research focuses on environmental risk factors for non-communicable diseases with a strong emphasis on integrating epidemiology, high quality exposure assessment, and molecular biology into multidisciplinary investigations.


One of his main research areas is the exploration of new methods for quantifying the external and internal exposome. The exposome concept refers to all environmental factors that we humans are exposed to on a daily basis: what we eat, the air we breathe, our social interactions and lifestyle choices such as smoking and exercising. Interacting with the genome, the exposome defines individual health at different stages throughout the life course, including foetal life. Researchers in the field of the exposome are trying to capture everything to understand which, how, in what quantities, and in what circumstances environmental drivers have an effect on our health. 

On Friday 26 March 2021, Roel Vermeulen had an absolute first in the 385-year history of Utrecht University: a Dies Natalis address given while cycling. Vermeulen highlights how collaborative research adds value to our healthy living environment. Curious about his whole story? Watch it on the UU YouTube channel.

Vermeulen has served on many international committees including the WHO and the National Toxicology Program in the US. He is a member of the Dutch Expert Committee for Occupational Standards of the Dutch Health council. He is elected chair of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), Scientific Committee on Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH) in 2015.


Environmental Epidemiology and Exposome Science
Inaugural lecture date