From January 1st, 2018 University of Tartu has a new Institute of Genomics, which was established by merging Estonian Genome Center and Estonian Biocentre (joined University of Tartu January 1st, 2018).
Institute of Genomics contributes to transdisciplinary research and application based on omics reseach and methods and also teaches University of Tartu students.
Institute of Genomics was established to promote greater synergy between genomic-based research, teaching and other scientific fields. This allows more effective collaboration with different research centres and universities and greater recognition among global scientific community. New institute also allows more effective use of infrastructure, competence, contacts and helps develop new partnerships with private sector.
Institute of Genomics is made up of four departments:
• Estonian Genome Center: Science Center gathers previous research groups of the University of Tartu Estonian Genome Center;
• Estonian Biocentre gathers previous research groups of the University of Tartu Estonian Biocentre;
• Core Facility Core facility operates the laboratory e.g. performing genotyping and sequencing and performs genetic data analysis;
• Estonian Genome Center collects genetic information about the Estonian population health and heridity, advances genetic research and applies findings in research in Estonian healthcare system.
From January 1st, 2018 Institute of Genomics is an independent institute, however, by January 1st, 2021 it will join the University of Tartu Faculty of Science and Technology. By the end of 2020, the board of Institute of Genomics will decide proposals for structural changes and by December 31st, 2020 a new name for the institute will be announced.
Institute of Genomics is managed by a director and two vice directors: Estonian Genome Center: Science Centre research and development vice director and Estonian Biocentre reseach and development vice director. Management also includes Core Facility manager and Estonian Genome Center manager.
From June 1st, 2018 the director of the Institute of Genomics is Mait Metspalu.
Institute of Genomics has a board, which is made up of the director, vice directors, five representatives of the workers and three researchers appointed by the director. Five representatives of the workers are appointed by the Estonian Genomic Center: Science Centre (two people), Estonian Biocentre (two people) and Estonian Genomic Center and Core Facility (total of one person).
Board of Institute of Genomics was established in February 1st, 2018.
History of the Institute
Goverment of Estonia agreed to integrate Estonian Biocentre into the University of Tartu in September 2016. In September 2016, Ministry of Education and Research, University of Tartu, and Estonian Biocentre signed an agreement to begin the integration process. Previously, research and development board had shown support for the integration of the two. Until May 31st, 2018 the Institute of Genomics was lead by the Estonian Genome Center director Andres Metspalu.
The integration is supported by ASTRA (institutional development programme for research and development centres and universities), a programme, which in addition to supporting global recognition of Estonian research and developments centres and universities, also supports actions towards improving the effectiveness of the university systems.