Center of Genomics, Evolution and Medicine


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The European Commission funded ERA Chair grant under Horizon2020 programme was awarded to the Institute of Genomics in 2018 with the duration of 5 years. The aim of the ERA Chair actions is to support universities or research organisations with the objective of attracting and maintaining high quality human resources under the direction of an outstanding researcher and research manager (the “ERA Chair holder”) and in parallel implement structural changes to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis.

The proposed ERA Chair – the Centre for Genomics, Evolution and Medicine (cGEM) aims to apply advancements in genomic medicine in an evolutionarily-aware framework to account for different evolutionary pathways of populations which have led to differences in susceptibility to common diseases. This requires the knowledge about the genetic risk factors for diverse ethnic groups and the tools to highlight the underlying genetic predisposition to diseases in complex human populations. For this reason, the project brings together the scientific expertise in three institutions: the Estonian Biocentre (EBC) and the Estonian Genome Centre (EGC) which together form the Institute of Genomics at University of Tartu (IGUT), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine (ICM). The synergy between the three scientific hubs will create the research capacity for tackling the abovementioned aim.

With the help of the newly elected ERA Chair and his/her team capacity will be built to apply a holistic approach to understand the evolutionary driving forces that have led to common diseases; develop disease risk prediction models applicable in different populations and explore the means for translating these findings into suitable input for everyday clinical practice. The cGEM will utilize its international collaborations and in-house biobanks to advance the personalized medicine solutions for admixed populations for predicting risk of certain complex diseases, including metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.

Project call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-03-2017-ERAChairs
Project acronym: cGEM
project number: 810645
Project period: 01.09.2018 – 31.08.2023