Precision medicine has focused almost exclusively on biological processes inside the body, with an emphasis on genetic underpinnings of disease. However, there are countless physical, social, psychological, and environmental exposures people experience in their daily lives which are known to impact their health and even influence gene expression. Collectively, these exposures are known as the exposome. As our understanding of health and wellbeing continues to progress, it becomes increasingly important for scholars across the natural, social, and health sciences to work together to ensure that health risks present in the social environment can be identified and avoided in all aspects and stages of life.

In collaboration with the Center for Health and Community at UCSF, this working group is bringing together leaders within medicine, public health, genomics, sociology, and anthropology to determine the potential value of mapping the social exposome. The group is examining which exposures can and should be measured, how to determine a person’s exposure, and the underlying reasons behind persistent health disparities in our society.

Group coordinators:


Nancy Adler
Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

Aric Prather
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

Maria Glymour
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco