Vichy Exposome Grant

What is the Exposome?

The exposome is the globality of the factors the human body is exposed to, from conception onwards. It complements the genome.

For this highly complex interaction, the term exposome was coined by Dr. Christopher Wild at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization.

The skin exposome comprises several external and internal factors including UV radiation, climatic conditions (heat and humidity), medications, pollution, stress, and dermatology procedures that may damage the skin barrier, induce skin diseases or accelerate skin ageing.

The exposome includes internal & external exposures:

How to participate

This year, instead of one international grant, 3 regional research
grants of €15,000
each are awarded to research projects in the field
of exposome and skin.

Each grant is awarded to one project originating from one of the following regions:

Key Dates

Applications for 2021 are now closed.
Laureates will be announced very soon, stay tuned!

The Jury

The applications for the VICHY EXPOSOME GRANT will be reviewed by an independent jury of experts chaired by Professor Jean Krutmann (Germany)
and composed of Professors Craig Elmets (USA), Haidong Kan (China), Thierry Passeron (France), Sergio Schalka (Brazil).

Application conditions

Eligible applications may consist in research projects in the field of exposome and the human skin, including projects dealing with skin conditions and diseases, either fundamental or clinical, conducted in any hospital, university or other not-for-profit research institution.

Application related to completed projects will not be considered, as well as project involving animal research, or project investigating medical devices, medicinal or cosmetic products.

Award funding will be disbursed to the host institution. The money granted must be used to accomplish the described research project.

Feel free to reach us out via email [email protected] for any question regarding the VICHY EXPOSOME GRANT.

Know more about the
previous Exposome
Grant Winners

Pr. Giuseppe
inflammasome activation
& cutaneous conditions
Pr. Christine
Exposome & skin
Dr. Agatha
Skin microbiome &
immune system
Dr. Tamara
Interplay between pollution
& UV

Analysis of the combined effects of air pollution and sun exposure on extrinsic skin ageing on a German SALIA cohort of 800 women.

Dr. Tamara Schikowski
Health Epidemiologist
IUF Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine

The SALIA cohort was set up over 30 years ago to investigate the effects of air pollution on lung function, inflammation and ageing in women. There were two study populations, one from rural areas and the other from the highly industrialized Ruhr area of Germany.

A wide range of baseline health measurements were established, with questionnaires on lifestyle factors and skin factors. In 2006, with air pollution declining, the women were assessed again with about 800 having detailed examinations that included an intensive skin ageing assessment using the well-established SCINEXA skin ageing scoring system.

Extensive data sets exist on air pollutants in the Ruhr area. Land use and traffic information sets have been used as proxies for exposure to near road pollutants and the German weather service is able to provide data on direct solar radiation and diffuse sky radiation closest to the residential address.

The 2016 Vichy Exposome Grant was used by the team, with the help of a statistician, to prepare the data sets and then re-analyse it, in order to compare the interacting effects of pollution on skin ageing.

The research results were published in April 2019 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology:

Lentigine Formation in Caucasian Women - Interaction between Particulate Matter and Solar UVR

Hüls A, Sugiri D, Fuks K, Krutmann J, Schikowski T.

J Invest Dermatol. 2019 Apr;139(4):974-976

Skin microbiome-derived short-chain fatty acids as modulators of the human skin immune system

Dr. Agatha Schwarz
Faculty of Medicine
Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology
Kiel University

The implications of the results of this research may be multiple. They may contribute to the understanding of the physiology of the skin and its maintenance.

Firstly, if short chain fatty-acids (SCFA) are responsible for the maintenance of the homeostasis of the skin, it then remains to be determined whether the composition of SCFA is altered under various inflammatory conditions and whether this is associated with an alteration of the composition of the commensal microbiome. Secondly, if SCFA are potent modulators of skin Regulatory T cells (Treg), they may be utilized for the therapy of inflammatory skin conditions.

It is superfluous to say that SCFA are natural substances which lack toxicity and thus may gain broad acceptance, even as ingredients in cosmetics with the ultimate aim to avoid skin irritations and inflammation. If it turns out that an alteration of the microbiome precedes skin inflammation, the final challenge will be to seek alternatives which will help to restore the physiologic microbiome.

The research results were published in June 2020 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology:

Induction of regulatory T cells and correction of cytokine dysbalance by short chain fatty acids – Implications for the therapy of psoriasis

Schwarz A, Philippsen R, Schwarz T

J Invest Dermatol. 2020;S0022-202X(20)31656-0. doi:10.1016/j.jid.2020.04.031

Impact of the exposome on the human skin microbiome

Pr. Christine Moissl-Eichinger
Medical University of Graz
Diagnostic and Research Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental Medicine

The human skin, our largest organ, is a complex ecosystem of diverse microorganisms, consisting of bacteria, fungi, viruses, mites and archaea. Symbiotic microorganisms protect against invasion by opportunistic pathogenic microbes and calm the immune system.

In this project, we would like to understand the composition and functional stability of microorganisms on human skin in the presence of typical exposures like desiccation, UV-radiation, temperature, moisture, pH and cosmetic products. Our insights will help us to retrieve critical information on the impact of the exposome on the archaeal and bacterial skin microbiome and to evaluate a potential use of skin probiotics.

Involvement of inflammasome activation in exposome-induced cutaneous conditions.

Pr. Giuseppe Valacchi
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical and Specialist Surgical Sciences
University of Ferrara
Ferrara, Italy

Skin is chronically exposed to several forms of exposome factors such as ultraviolet, cigarette smoke, particular matters and ozone. Although skin have an efficient defense system, prolonged or repetitive exposure to high levels of exposome factors may have profound negative effects.

Exposome factors damage skin mostly by inducing oxidative stress and inflammation defined as « OxInflammation ». Inflammasomes could act as a central hub in the crosstalk between the altered redox and immune homeostasis induced by exposome in the cutaneous tissue.

The study plans to investigate the role of prolonged or repetitive inflammasome activation in skin oxinflammation induced by exposome factors such as UV and O3, in particular demonstrating their possible synergistic effects.

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