Registration is open for sixth EXIMIOUS Symposium on internal effect markers

The sixth EXIMIOUS Symposium, titled “Internal effect markers: immune, genetics and epigenetics” will take place on 7th March 2024. Register now and join us online at 15:00 – 17:00 (CEST) to learn more.

People are often exposed to multiple substances from different sources at the same time. Several of these environmental and occupational factors (exposures) have significant impact on our health. Knowledge of the biological response can help us better understand the effect of such exposure and mechanisms underlying different environmental and occupational diseases. This can be achieved by studying the biological responses to external factors, through molecular and omics analyses (immunome, epigenome, proteome…).

Our three invited experts will present their latest research on the topic, each highlighting a different aspect

Dr. Unni Cecilie Nygaard’s presentation will focus on single cell profiling by mass cytometry – a promising tool for advancing environmental health and toxicology. After this, Dr. Mariona Bustamante from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) will focus on epigenetic marks of the exposome. Lastly, Dr. Rossella Alfano will present her research and insights from multi omics analysis, specifically on unlocking the role of cholesterol in birthweight.

A dedicated time for Q&A will follow each of the presentations. Like our previous symposia, this sixth EXIMIOUS Symposium is open to all audiences.

Programme EXIMIOUS Symposium
“Internal effect markers: immune, genetics and epigenetics ”

Time Title Speaker

15:00 - 15:15

Welcome and introduction from the EXIMIOUS coordinator

Prof. Peter Hoet
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

15:15 - 15:50

Single cell profiling by mass cytometry – a promising tool for advancing environmental health and toxicology

Dr. Unni Cecilie Nygaard

Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Norway

15:50 - 16:25

Epigenetic marks of the exposome

Dr. Mariona Bustamante

Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Spain

16:25 - 17:00

Unlocking the role of cholesterol in birthweight: insights from multi omics analysis

Dr. Rossella Alfano

University of Hasselt, Centre for Environmental Sciences, Belgium



Unni Cecilie Nygaard, PhD, is a researcher in the field of immunology, and is heading the Section for Immunology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. She has extensive experience within immunotoxicology and environmental health, lately involving studies of effects of environmental exposures on immune cell function. Unni is passionate about exploiting the opportunities of high dimensional single cell analyses and systems immunology within the fields of immunotoxicology, environmental medicine, vaccinology and infection control. She is the work package leader for WP4 Immunome in EXIMIOUS.


Mariona Bustamante has a in biochemistry and human genetics. Her PhD focused on the identification of genetic variants associated to complex diseases and the functional validation in in vitro models. Currently, she investigates the genetic causes of complex phenotypes and their interaction with environmental exposures. She joined ISGlobal in 2010 as a postdoctoral researcher and now has a position as staff scientist in the area of molecular epidemiology.

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Rossella Alfano is a Medical Doctor, qualified specialist in Public Health at the University ‘Federico II’, (Naples, Italy). In 2017, Dr. Alfano joined the Epidemiology group of the Centre for Environmental Science at the Hasselt University (Hasselt, Belgium). Under the mentorship of Professor Michelle Plusquin, she completed her PhD in Biomedical Sciences. She now serves as junior Postdoctoral Researcher funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders. Her research interests include epidemiology, birth cohort research and omics. Her main work focuses on integrating omics (epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) to elucidate the mechanisms underlying health and disease across the lifespan.