Greet Schoeters


  • J. B. Winsløws Vej 17, 2. sal.

    5000 Odense C


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Personal profile


Born 1956

Graduated in Biology, University of Antwerp , 1977
Ph.D. degree from University of Antwerp, 1983.
Post doc at University of California Davis, 1984.

Project leader , Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, 1977-1993.
Head of Research Unit , Environmental Toxicology, VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological research) , 1993-2008.
Program manager , Environment and Health, 2008-.
Professor (part time), University of Antwerp, Belgium, Dept of Biomedical sciences, 2003
Professor (part time), University of Southern Denmark, Institute of Public Health (2013 and 2014-15), present at Environmental Medicine

Scientific activities, societies and awards
Coordinator of the Flemish Human Biomonitoring Program, 2002-2015
Scientific Director of CARDAM -VITO, Centre for Advanced Research and Development of Alternative Methods (2006-2011)
Workpackage leader in EU projects: EU-ESBIO, EU-COPHES, EU-INTARESE, EU-OBELIX, EU, AXLR8.
Award Rudi Verheyen, 2008, for outstanding scientific contribution in support of the Flemish Environment Policy

Major committees
Member of COST Technical Committee Environment ,2000-2006.
Expert member of CONTAM panel of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), 2003-2006.
President of the European Society for Toxicology in vitro ,2008-2012.
Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Environment Agency in the area of Chemicals and Environment, 2013-2016.
Member of European Scientific Committee of health and Environment (SCHER), 2013-2015.
Member of External Science Advisory Panel (ESAP) for CEFICs Long-term Research Initiative (European Chemical Industry Council), 2012-
Member of Belgian Health Council, 2008 -

Research information

A clean environment is essential for human health and well-being. Although many efforts are taken to reduce chemical pollution of the environment, hundreds of chemicals are currently measured in humans worldwide. Chemicals are a part of life. They bring benefits to our lives, but like most things, they also come with risks. They enter out body by the air we breathe, by our diet, by contact with all kinds of consumer goods. Many of them are short lived and are rapidly metabolised, but if exposure occurs in a susceptible period of life such as around conception, fetal development or early childhood they may give rise to adverse health outcomes later in life. Early life exposure to chemicals has been associated with increased risks for obesity, for asthma and allergies and different neurological disorders. However, most diseases are multifactorial and the interactions between the environment and human health are highly complex and difficult to assess. It is important to investigate to which extent chemicals contribute to the disease burden, and whether prevention or reducing chemical exposure effectively contributes to better health and well being. The research projects aim to 1) characterise chemical exposure in susceptible stages of life while identifying the important determinants of exposure including life style and dietary factors, and 2) understand the molecular pathways by which chemical exposure during sensitive periods in life leads to increased disease risks. Hereby taking advantage of new developments in human transcriptome and epigenetic biomarkers that can be measured in human samples.

Ongoing projects: 

  • A cohort of 200 pregnant mothers is being recruited in the Antwerp area (Belgium) which is a hot spot of air pollution characterised by heavy traffic and the nearby chemical industry of the harbour. The project will test the hypotheses that prenatal exposure to particulate matter has an influence on the vascularisation of the placenta and relates to pre eclampsia and high blood pressure of the mother and to reduced growth and birth weight of the baby. Low birthweight, as a results of an adverse in utero environment, is associated with cardiometabolic disease and brain disorders in adulthood.
  • Clinical outcomes of mother and child, vascularisation of the placenta, predictive biomarkers related to pre-eclampsia in maternal blood and changes in the transcriptome of the placenta and cord blood will be studied in relation to exposure to air pollution.
  • A cohort of Danish children, whose mothers worked in greenhouses in pregnancy has been followed for several years already. Findings from this cohort include associations between maternal occupational pesticide exposure early in pregnancy and lower birth weight, impaired reproductive development in boys, and earlier puberty and impaired neurobehavioral function in girls. To explore the underlying mechanisms, we will study epigenetic changes in blood cells of the children. Epigenetics provides a molecular mechanism to explain long term effects of environment on the development of altered phenotypes. We will test whether epigenetic changes are associated with exposure and/or with health outcomes.

Research areas

Research areas include:

  • Environmental health
  • Environmental toxicology
  • Risk assessment
  • Human biomonitoring
  • Molecular epidemiology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Greet Schoeters is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 8 Similar Profiles
Environmental Monitoring Medicine & Life Sciences
Mothers Medicine & Life Sciences
biomonitoring Earth & Environmental Sciences
Cotinine Medicine & Life Sciences
Hair Medicine & Life Sciences
Mercury Medicine & Life Sciences
Biomarkers Chemical Compounds
Urine Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 2008 2019

  • 40 Journal article
  • 1 Book chapter
  • 1 Comment/debate
19 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
perfluorooctanoic acid
Endocrine Disruptors
49 Downloads (Pure)

A strategy to validate a selection of human effect biomarkers using adverse outcome pathways: Proof of concept for phthalates and reproductive effects

Baken, K. A., Lambrechts, N., Remy, S., Mustieles, V., Rodríguez-Carrillo, A., Neophytou, C. M., Olea, N. & Schoeters, G., 2019, In : Environmental Research. 175, p. 235-256

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors

Mothers and children are related, even in exposure to chemicals present in common consumer products

Koppen, G., Govarts, E., Vanermen, G., Voorspoels, S., Govindan, M., Dewolf, M. C., Den Hond, E., Biot, P., Casteleyn, L., Kolossa-Gehring, M., Schwedler, G., Angerer, J., Koch, H. M., Schindler, B. K., Castaño, A., López, M. E., Sepai, O., Exley, K., Bloemen, L., Knudsen, L. E. & 4 others, Joas, R., Joas, A., Schoeters, G. & Covaci, A., Aug 2019, In : Environmental Research. 175, p. 297-307

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Consumer products
Dibutyl Phthalate

Prenatal bisphenol A exposure is associated with language development but not with ADHD-related behavior in toddlers from the Odense Child Cohort

Jensen, T. K., Mustieles, V., Bleses, D., Frederiksen, H., Trecca, F., Schoeters, G., Andersen, H. R., Grandjean, P., Kyhl, H. B., Juul, A., Bilenberg, N. & Andersson, A. M., 1. Mar 2019, In : Environmental Research. 170, p. 398-405

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

110 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Maternal Exposure
2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid