Professor Samuli Ripatti’s group at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki studies the underlying mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases through genetic variation. The genetic heritage of the Finnish population provides a good opportunity for this. This allows the screening of valuable information about the health effects from the population’s genetic data. People at a high risk of getting sick can be found while also looking for ways to prevent diseases.
Thanks to the SISu (Sequencing Initiative Suomi) project, the data on genetic variation in Finns has been compiled into one database. The database is already helping patient diagnostics.
“A biobank sample should be collected from all of us”, says Ripatti. “Those with a predisposition for illness should be screened more closely.”
As a continuation of SISu, the FinnGen project that will record the genomes of half a million Finns launched in August 2017. “Tools for risk assessments exist and statistical models have been developed for several diseases. Interpreting the data obtained from the genome as part of routine health care is the goal of the next few years. FinnGen contributes to this.”
Preserving genomic data in the future and designing its analysis environment are big issues in which the ELIXIR infrastructure plays a key role.