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Keywords:

  • Omics;
  • molecular epidemiology;
  • human population studies;
  • environmental risks;
  • individual susceptibility

The convergence of striking developments in (bio)-technology, increasing availability of biobanked samples, and advances in biostatistics and bio-informatics allow an optimistic outlook for epidemiological research. In this special issue on Omics in Population Studies: A Molecular Epidemiology Perspective we explore and reflect on the potential of these new developments in both exposure science and clinical research since they provide the essential link between exposure and disease and may enable scientists to improve their understanding of disease origin and progression. As noted in this special issue, this is an exciting time for epidemiology. While cancer and other noncommunicable diseases rise in number worldwide, various new tools can be applied effectively to increase understanding of the underlying causes and potential for progression to improve their prevention and treatment. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 54:455-460, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.