Estonia Houses The Biggest Biobank In Europe
In January 2019, Forbes Magazine contributor Yiannis Mouratidis visited the Institute of Genomics to learn more about the biobank hosted by the Estonian Genome Center. During his visit, Mr. Mouratidis had in-depth discussion with Lili Milani, Head of Personalized Medicine & Research Professor at Estonian Genome Center and Tõnu Esko, Vice Director and Chief business Development Officer, Estonian Genome Center, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, and find out what are the next steps of the project and how this project will benefit Estonian citizens but also remain financially sustainable in the coming years.
"Two years ago we visited Estonia as a part of an educational trip. Then, one of the projects Estonian scientists were proud of was the Biobank that was hosted in the Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu. The birth of Genome Center in Estonia goes back in 1999 and the whole project had three main objectives; to collect information on the health of the Estonian population and their genes, study this cohort scientifically from both genetic and medicals aspects and use the data obtained to improve national health standards. Up to 2011, the main goal of the Genome Center was to establish an extensive database and to carry out scientific studies based on that data. This summer, the center will pass a key milestone – the first gene donors in the database will receive their personal complete genome sequences, which means that the Genome Center in the form planned back in 2000 – a repository for data – will come to fruition."
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Annely Allik, University of Tartu Institute of Genomics Communications Manager, annely.allik [ät] ut.ee