The Exposome Boot Camp: Measuring Exposures on an Omic Scale

July 20-21, 2023 | In-person

Registration is Open! Join us for the next Exposome Boot Camp on July 20-21, 2023.

The Exposome Boot Camp is a two-day intensive boot camp of seminars and hands-on analytical sessions to provide an overview of concepts, techniques, and data analysis methods used in studies of the exposome. Register here



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Summer 2023 dates: In-person training  July 20-21, 2023; 10am EDT - ~5pm EDT

There are many challenges to capturing the complexity of exposures in an individual across the lifetime and their potential health effects. Traditionally, environmental health studies have focused on assessing risks related to a single exposure at a time, yet in reality we are constantly exposed to multiple exposures at the same time. To advance environmental health research and positively impact human health through recommendations and policy, we need to incorporate omics data that capture all chemical species detectable in human plasma over the life course. The exposome offers this framework and can be viewed as the environmental complement of the genome.

This two-day intensive boot camp integrates the principle concepts of exposomics and the untargeted approaches of measuring endogenous and exogenous chemical exposures on an omic scale as we step through the tools and techniques currently available to analyze the exposome. Led by a team of expert scientists in the rapidly growing field of exposomics, the boot camp will integrate seminar lectures with hands-on computer lab sessions to put concepts into practice. Emphasis will be given to leveraging existing resources from ongoing studies and initiating new investigations. The afternoon lab sessions will provide an opportunity to work hands-on with real data. Participants will learn and practice data handling, cleaning, and basic analysis of exposomics data.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be familiar with the following topics:

  • Principles of exposomics
  • Concept ideation and study design
  • Laboratory methods and instrumentation platforms for analysis
  • Data extraction and cleaning with emphasis on peaks and feature tables
  • Pathway data analysis and identification databases
  • Data visualization and network interpretation
  • Study design advantages and pitfalls
  • Emerging exposomic topics and laboratory platforms

Audience and Requirements

Investigators at all career stages are welcome to attend, and we particularly encourage trainees and early-stage investigators to participate.

This training is designed to accommodate investigators with varying experience levels in R. Knowing R basics is beneficial to maximize training from the boot camp, but is not necessary for you to strongly engage with training material. Data labs will be offered during the training and are meant to accommodate both beginner and advanced data manipulation, with all material and additional resources available after the training. There are three requirements to attend this training:

  1. Each participant must have an introductory background in statistics.
  2. Each participant is required to have a personal laptop. If you would like to participate in the asynchronous, hands-on data labs offered by the Boot Camp, you will need to have R downloaded and installed as all lab sessions will be done on your personal laptop. R is available for free download and installation on Mac, PC, and Linux devices.  
  3. The Boot Camp will provide lab tutorials with data sets in R, therefore we recommend participants have a basic understanding of this platform prior to attending the Boot Camp to get the most out of lab sessions. R knowledge is not required if you do not plan to participate in lab sessions. If you have not used this platform before, step through the tutorials outlined below so you have the basic skills needed for Boot Camp success.

R Tutorials

As noted in the prerequisites above, knowing basic R platform and commands is recommended, but not required, to get the most out of the lab sessions. If you are new to R or need a refresher, review the below tutorials to be well-prepared for the labs:

If you have any specific questions about R and R studio in the context of the Exposome Boot Camp, please email us.


2023 instructors are still being finalized, but will have similar expertise as the 2022 instructors listed below. Instructors subject to change.

Training Director: Gary Miller, PhD, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Vice Dean of Research Strategy and Innovation, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Dr. Miller was the founding Director of the HERCULES Center at Emory University, the first exposome-based research center in the U.S. and authored the first book on the topic, The Exposome: A Primer published by Elsevier. His laboratory at Columbia focuses on environmental drivers of neurodegeneration, using several experimental models from cultured neurons and C. elegans to mice and human studies.

Below is a list of instructors from our prior training. Instructors for this year are being determined and will share similar expertise.

Christy Avery, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Avery is interested in cardiovascular disease epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, and causal inference. Recently she has extended her expertise to include metabolomics, lipid omics, and multi-omics more broadly.

Dean Jones, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Emory University.

Vrinda Kalia, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Dr. Kalia’s research uses an exposomic framework to study environmental drivers of dementia and neurodegeneration in observational and experimental settings. She has developed an untargeted metabolomics platform to measure small molecule profiles in C. elegans and is currently developing methods to characterize small molecules in circulating extracellular vesicles that derive from the brain.

Jeremy Koelmel, PhD, CEO, Innovative Omics, and Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Public Health, Yale University. Dr. Koelmel focuses on the development and application of open-source software (6 software to date) to increase the coverage and accuracy of annotations in exposomics analysis; he provides training on these state-of-the-art data-processing tools for many major government, corporate, and academic players in the field as part of innovative omics. His current focus includes lipidomics, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), polymers, and general non-targeted mass spectrometry analysis.

Yunjia Lai, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Dr. Lai is an analytical chemist and toxicologist by training, with extensive research experience in leveraging high-resolution metabolomics for systems toxicological insights. She is interested in exposome analysis, microbiome, and neurotoxicity, applying a suite of novel mass spectrometry technologies and multi-omics approaches to advance etiologic search and mechanistic understanding in both experimental and epidemiological models.

Donghai Liang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health and Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. Dr. Liang's research focuses on health effects associated with air pollution and persistent organic pollutant using exposure assessment and high-resolution omics technologies. He is particularly interested in incorporating high resolution metabolomics and multi-omics into the investigations on the molecular mechanisms and disease etiology associated with environmental exposures.

Megan Niedzwiecki, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.

Krystal Pollitt, PhD, P.Eng., Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences), Assistant Professor in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University. Dr. Pollitt’s research is focused on understanding the influence of environmental exposures on the mechanisms of disease. She has pioneered innovative exposure assessment technologies that use high-resolution mass spectrometry to conduct omic-scale analysis of environmental contaminants. Wearable passive samplers developed by her laboratory as an exposomic tool have enabled population-scale assessment of thousands of environmental chemicals and pathogens.

Emma Schymanski, PhD, Associate Professor, FNR ATTRACT Fellow and PI in Environmental Cheminformatics, Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), University of Luxembourg. Dr. Schymanski’s research combines cheminformatics and computational (high resolution) mass spectrometry approaches to elucidate the unknowns in complex samples, primarily with non-target screening, and relating these to environmental causes of disease. An advocate for open science, she is involved in and organizes several European and worldwide activities to improve the exchange of data, information and ideas between scientists to push progress in this field, including NORMAN Network activities (e.g. NORMAN-SLE), MassBank, MetFrag and PubChemLite for Exposomics.

Doug Walker, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. Dr. Walker’s research focuses on continued development and application of advanced analytical strategies for measuring the occurrence, distribution and magnitude of previously unidentified environmental exposures and assisting in delineating the mechanisms underlying environment-related diseases in humans. Dr. Walker leads the Comprehensive Laboratory for Untargeted Exposome Science (CLUES) at Emory University, which was established to provide high-quality, untargeted screening of biological samples for nutrition, precision medicine and environmental health research.

Craig Wheelock, PhD, Principal Researcher, Head of Unit of Integrative Metabolomics, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. Dr. Wheelock's research focuses on molecular phenotyping of respiratory disease, with a particular area of interest in investigating the role of eicosanoids and other lipid mediators. The overall aim of his work is to develop personalized molecular profiles that can be associated with an individual’s lifestyle, environmental exposure and susceptibility to disease onset.

Jeff Xia, PhD, Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics and Big Data Analytics, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University. Dr. Xia combines big data analytics with LC-HRMS based untargeted metabolomics to study genome-environment-microbiome interactions.


Training scholarships are available for the Exposome Boot Camp.


Summer 2023: The Exposome Boot Camp will be an in-person training at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health (722 W. 168th Street in NYC) taking place on July 20-21, 2023 from 10am EDT - ~5pm EDT.

More information on travel, lodging, and getting around NYC.


"A great introduction to the field of Exposomic Research. Includes lots of information of the history of the field, on-going studies and what is needed to be developed to move the field further." - Academic Staff member at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2022

"This boot camp was taught by world-class experts in the area and exceeded my expectations. Highly recommended it to epidemiologists (and other scientists) interested in incorporating exposomics/metabolomics into their research." - Trainee at the NIH, 2022

"This bootcamp gave me ideas that I can immediately apply to my research. The presenters were all engaging and I really enjoyed the two days." - Student at Mayo Clinic, 2022

"The exposome, although such a new field, was thoroughly covered through this boot camp, in a way that makes it seem as though it has been here for awhile. The presentations with corresponding labs really brought everything together in a way that made it less confusing and an attainable discipline for people like me who know next to nothing about the exposome." - Postdoc at Columbia University, 2022

"Great overview of metabolomics by pioneers and experts in the field, including the very creators of the tools / R packages that we learn how to navigate during the practical sessions. Very informative, I learned a lot in two days, and the materials provided will be very useful!" - Trainee at Hospital del Mar Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain, 2022

"The Exposome Boot Camp was amazing! I've always found the exposome intriguing and, at the same time, unattainable. This boot camp helped me look at the exposome from a different perspective; it doesn't seem impossible anymore." - Student at UNC Chapel Hill, 2022

Additional Testimonials

Registration Fees

  Early-Bird Rate (through 5/15/23) Regular Rate (5/16/23 - 7/13/23) Columbia Discount*
Student/Postdoc/Trainee      $1,175 $1,375 10%
Faculty/Academic Staff/Non-Profit Organizations/Government Agencies $1,375 $1,575 10%
Corporate/For-Profit Organizations $1,575 $1,775 NA


*Columbia Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University. If paying by credit card, use your Columbia email address during the registration process to automatically have the discount applied. If paying by internal transfer within Columbia, submit this Columbia Internal Transfer Request form to receive further instructions. Please note: filling out this form is not the same as registering for a training and does not guarantee a training seat.  

Invoice Payment: If you would prefer to pay by invoice/check, please submit this Invoice Request form to receive further instructions. Please note: filling out this form is not the same as registering for a training and does not guarantee a training seat.

Registration Fee: This fee includes course material, breakfast, and lunch on training days. Course material will be made available to all participants both during and after the conclusion of the training. The fee does not include travel/accommodation costs.

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the training start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the training will receive a 75% refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to Due to workshop capacity and preparation, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations <14days prior to the training.  

If you are unable to attend the training, we encourage you to send a substitute within the same registration category. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Should the substitute fall within a different registration category your credit card will be credited/charged respectively. Please email substitute inquiries to In the event Columbia must cancel the event, your registration fee will be fully refunded.

Additional Information

The Exposome Boot Camp is hosted by Columbia University's SHARP Program in the Mailman School of Public Health and the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Jump to:  Overview  |  Prerequisites  |  R Tutorials Instructors Scholarships  |  Locations  |  Testimonials  |  Registration Fees Additional Information

Additional Testimonials

"The boot camp was very informative comprehensive overview of the exposome. It included great lab-to-data-analysis pipeline. It was nice to listen to innovative forward-thinking scientists from all over the globe. Great debate regarding pros and cons of the exposome technology." - Ghada S., Faculty member at City University of New York, School of Public Health, 2021

"This workshop was an excellent introduction to the concept and application of the exposome. I would highly recommend to colleagues. I am new to the "exposome" concept and I felt the training was accessible for less experienced folks like me while providing more rich information to allow the application of the tools in a more intermediate/advanced way." - Anna R., Postdoc at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2021

"Great way to know the basic concepts, state-of-the-art approaches, weaknesses and strengths from the world´s top scientists in the field." - Carlos M., Faculty member at Universidad de Chile, 2021

"This Boot Camp is the perfect combination of a general overview with an in-depth analysis." - Student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2021

"The content is new, novel and timely as more fundamental understanding of our environment's role in healthcare outcomes are being investigated." - Academic/Non-Profit Staff member at the Mayo Clinic, 2020

"Very well organized overview of this fascinating and growing field of study.  It was very helpful to enlist national and international experts in Exposomics to reflect the breadth of impact and applicability of this field.  For any researcher studying non-monogenic diseases, this is an essential course for creating a framework that encompasses all non-genetic determinants of disease in a comprehensive fashion." - Setty M., Fellow at the NIH, 2020

"Very enlightening training! It not only showed me the cutting edge of the exposomics field but also provided me with essential hands-on training." - Ning S., Staff Member at Exposomics Precision Medicine (Shanghai) Co., 2020

"This was an excellent introduction to the exposome. I entered the bootcamp - run by leaders in the field - a novice and left equipped with an undoubtedly useful working knowledge that will allow me articulate the utility of the exposome to my peers while incorporating the various methodologies into my research program." - Chandra J., Faculty member at the NIH, 2020

"This bootcamp was very inspiring, motivational, and eye-opening. We learnt about the big picture, and also the actual hands-on analysis." - Dandi Q., Faculty member at Harvard Medical School, 2020

"It provided helpful tips and insights for someone who is just dipping their toes in the field of exposomics. I was able to start thinking about my own research in a more purposeful manner, and feel as though I have (virtually) met some experts who would be very happy to answer my questions as I progress through my research." - Student at Rutgers University, 2020

"This boot camp provided me with a comprehensive training on exposome, including instrumental analysis, data processing, and applications in different research areas. What I learned in exposome boot camp will definitely help my on going research." - Postdoc Fellow at the University of Kentucky, 2020

This camp was fantastic and is a must for epidemiologists at all levels of training considering exposome studies." - Christy A., Faculty member at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2020

"Nice overview of lab-to-data-analysis pipeline of the -OMICs components of the exposome, and the latest and greatest tools to perform these types of studies." - Postdoc Fellow at the University of Arizona, 2020

The Exposome Boot Camp presents a fascinating introduction to the paradigm shifting field of exposome research, and provides the practical tools and hands-on experience necessary to begin contributing to the field. - Danielle M., Postdoc at Princeton University, 2019

This was an excellent workshop with a combination of experts with both a strong biological and environmental focus, ideal for exposome research, but applicable to other omics style work in general. - Anonymous Faculty member, 2019

The presentations and labs were all fantastic, and I learned so much in a short period of time; it was a really successful way to distill a complex topic. - Briana D., Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, 2019

Great experience overall! I found it very seamless and well-organized. A packed 2-day experience with plenty of learning and a great balance of networking and exploring collaborations. - Anonymous Student, 2019

I thought the Boot Camp did a great job of balancing very basic information and detail, providing a very nice "in-depth overview." - Jennifer C., Researcher at IRET, National University in Costa Rica, 2019

I thought this was an amazing bootcamp taught by some truly innovative and forward-thinking scientists. It has a wide-ranging scope and scientists from many branches of science can really benefit from it. - Anonymous Postdoc, 2019

It was a great opportunity to get to learn new ways to implement exposomics. It was also an opportunity to get to know and exchange with new people about our respective work. - Jade C., PhD Student at EHESP - French School of Public Health, 2019

Great overview of this burgeoning field from leading experts in exposome research. Would recommend to anyone who is new to this area of research as a good introduction and opportunity to establish collaborations. - Anonymous Postdoc, 2019

This boot camp provided an excellent opportunity to learn about many topics related to the exposome from leading scholars in the field. Instructors were incredibly accessible and dedicated to familiarizing the audience with both concepts and and practical tools. - PhD Student, 2019

The Exposome Boot Camp was a really valuable experience.  I learned more about un-targeted mass spec data processing tools available and how they could be used for metabolomics. The Boot Camp offered a unique opportunity to network with people from other fields that are also interested in the exposome. - Kate M., Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University, 2019