URC professor Meike Bartels receives a €2 million ERC consolidator grant for research into causes of differences in happines and well-being.
The grant gives her the opportunity to investigate the dynamic interplay between an individual’s genetic make-up, epigenetic make-up, and (social) environmental exposure.
Environmental and social influences on happiness and well-being
Over the past year, Meike Bartels and her team made important progress in quantifying and identifying the genetic sources of differences in well-being by identifying the first genetic and epigenetic variants related to well-being. These earlier studies form a crucial stepping stone to achieve the next level of understanding how genetic sources are amplified or dampened by environmental and social factors and, conversely, how genetic pathways modulate environmental effects and social interactions. Bartels: “To initiate this next step, we need a better and more complete picture of environmental and social exposure. In this project we will identify, quantify, and integrate static and dynamic environmental and social exposures to build the well-being exposome”.
The dynamic interplay between genes and environment
Off course it is in the end the interplay between genes and environment that causes the differences in happiness and well-being. Therefore, in her ERC project Bartels and her team aim to understand the multi-layer interplay of the genome, the epigenome, and the exposome, and integrate the empirical findings into a novel comprehensive framework of Well-being. Bartels: “This framework can then serve as a strong empirically-based foundation for the development of interdisciplinary academic theories and health, social, and economic policies to maintain, facilitate, and build WB”
Source: Website Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences