Access to Biobank
Estonian Biobank is a population-based biobank of the Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu (EGCUT).
The entire project is conducted according to the legislation given in the Human Genes Research Act of Estonia and all participants (gene donors) have signed the broad inform consent
(Metspalu 2004, Drug Dev Res).
Estonians represent 83%, Russians 14%, and other nationalities 3% of all participants.
All subjects have been recruited randomly by general practitioners (GP) and physicians in hospitals. The participants are individuals who have joined the Estonian biobank after hearing about it during promotion events, media, friends, etc. or visiting GP offices or hospitals for other reasons.
The Participants have filled the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) within 1-2 hours appointment at a doctor’s office.
The CAPI includes personal data (place of birth, place(s) of living, nationality etc.), genealogical data (family history of medical conditions spanning four generations), educational and occupational history, lifestyle data (physical activity, dietary habits - FFQ, smoking, alcohol consumption, women’s health, quality of life).
In addition, there are 40,000 participants with MCTQ (chronotype) data, and 15,000 with both MSTQ and genome-wide microarray (GWAS) data, 3,000 participants have filled the NEO-PI-R questionnaire, including GWAS data available on 2,700 participants.
Medical history and current health status is recorded according to ICD-10 codes, medication according to ATC. Extra data are collected from patients with psychiatric disorders (MINI and SSP interview). Anthropometric measurements, blood pressure (sitting position at the end of the interview), and resting heart rate are measured during the visit; 30-50 ml of venous blood are taken into EDTA Vacutainers, which are transported to the central laboratory of EGCUT, being kept at +4°...+6°C within the following 6 to 36 hrs, where DNA, plasma and WBC are immediately isolated and stored as aliquots in MAPI straws in liquid N2 for further use. All procedures are run according to the ISO 9000-2008 and LIMS procedures.
GWAS analyses have been performed on 15,000 subjects genotyped with different Illumina microarrays. RNA samples from 2,100 subjects (isolated from venous blood) are available for gene expression studies along with 45 biomarkers from serum and plasma (analysis of biomarkers was performed in Clinical chemistry laboratory at Tartu University Hospital. Metabolite analysis (NMR and MS) from the same set of individuals (N=12,000 in total) will be performed with the ENGAGE consortium during the final stage. Full-genome sequencing and diagnostic exome sequencing is ongoing and we have almost 100 full genomes and more than 100 exomes from the Estonian population by the end of 2013. Follow-up studies have started and 10,000 gene donors will be invited back, more than 2,000 have already done so. In addition, we link our database with the national registries and hospital databases in order to get the up- to-date phenotypic information (endpoints and nonfatal events).
The publications of the EGCUT
The EGCUT has over 216 publications published over the period of 2002-2014, including high impact journals as Nature, Nature Genetics, AJHG etc. www.geenivaramu.ee/en/access-biopank/publications
The team of the EGCUT
There are a team of 51 people working at the research unit and the biobank. The research unit is divided into three workgroups: biostatistics, bioinformatics and functional genomics. The support stucture consists of an IT unit and administrative staff.