Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

NewGeneris NewGeneris: Newborns and Genotoxic exposure risks

NewGeneris is applying advanced biomarker technology in the context of molecular epidemiology studies based on a number of European mother-child birth cohorts, to test the hypothesis that maternal exposure to dietary compounds with carcinogenic and immunotoxic properties results in in utero exposure and molecular events in the unborn child which ultimately lead to increased risk of cancer and immune disorders in later childhood. It is also using novel approaches to discover new, relevant biomarkers, to evaluate the importance of paternal exposure at the time of conception, and to assess the influence on fetal exposure of placental transport of toxic chemicals to which the mother is exposed.

The overall goal of NewGeneris is to develop and apply two categories of biomarkers in relation to dietary exposures and childhood disease. These are firstly, biomarkers of dietary exposure to chemicals with carcinogenic and associated immunotoxic properties and secondly, biomarkers of precarcinogenic and immunotoxic effects. These two categories of biomarkers will be utilised to test the research hypothesis that maternal exposure to such dietary compounds results in in utero exposure and subsequently induces carcinogenic and immunotoxic events in the unborn child, thereby leading to increased risk of cancer and immune disorders in later childhood. For this, NewGeneris will mainly use existing European mother-child birth cohorts. New biobanks will be set up in different European regions to generate specific information predominantly on dietary exposures of mothers and fathers, and to collect umbilical cord blood samples required for the analysis of genomics-based biomarkers of effect.

The biological samples available to NewGeneris come from already existing biobanks in 5 different European regions, while 3 new biobanks will also be created. Between them, these biobanks represent a total of around 300,000 mother-child pairs, constituting in effect a virtual European birth mega-cohort with subjects coming from regions with a wide diversity of environmental conditions and dietary and lifestyle habits. This makes NewGeneris one of the largest studies of its kind ever conducted and provides it with a unique potential to discern the role of food-borne chemicals in the etiology of childhood cancer and immune disease.

www.newgeneris.org

Associated Staff

Roger Godschalk
Assistant Professor

​Dr. Roger Godschalk graduated in Biological Health Sciences in 1995 at the Maastricht University (The Netherlands). He specialised in genetic toxicol more ...

Frederik-Jan van Schooten
Professor, Head of the department

​Prof. van Schooten studied biology at the Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he specialised in immunology, molecular microbiology a more ...

Lou Maas
Technician

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