University of Tartu Institute of Genomics
The University of Tartu (UTARTU, founded in 1632) has more than 14,000 students and 1,500 academic staff members. UTARTU is Estonia’s leading centre of research and training. Research at UTARTU focuses on subjects as diverse as medicine and philosophy, genetics and computer science. The university currently ranks among the top 1.2 percent of the world's best universities (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022) and belongs to the top 1% of the world's most-cited universities and research institutions in 12 fields, including clinical medicine, molecular biology and genetics.
Institute of Genomics (IG) was established for greater synergy between genomic-based research, teaching, and other scientific fields. The main research directions of the IG have been to understand the role of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors in health and disease. IG hosts the Estonian Biobank (EBB). EBB was founded in 2000 and is a population-based cohort with a rich variety of phenotypic and health-related information collected for each participant. At present, more than 200,000 individuals, all genotyped with genome-wide arrays, have joined EBB, comprising about 20% of Estonia's adult population. The EBB database is regularly linked to national registries, hospital databases, and the database of the national health insurance fund, which holds treatment and service bills. For all the participants EBB provides information on the diagnoses in ICD-10 coding and information on drug dispensing data, including drug ATC codes, prescription status and purchase date. According to law, re-contacting biobank participants is allowed. In collaboration with Institute of Computer Science, the expertise in deep learning, bioinformatics, cryptography, data mining and analytics, have been included to EBB research projects to maximise the benefit for personalised medicine. This rich variety of data and analysis methods provides the means for researchers to conduct studies on genomics and omics data and method development and collaborate with scientists around the world.
Role within SafePolyMed
In SafePolyMed, UTARTU leads WP1 “Patients at Risk Score”. UTARTU will be associated with the development of evidence-based risk score model for individual patients to predict treatment response and to stratify patients accordingly. The aim is to connect genetic information with clinical and outcome data to develop multimodal stratification and prediction algorithms.