Gene Forum 2015, June 18-19, 2015
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eesti keeles


University of Tartu
estonian genome foundation



Tartu - City of Good Thoughts


  Estonian Genome
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Tartu, Estonia, and Lyon, France, June 18, 2015

On the occasion of the Gene Forum held today and tomorrow in Tartu, Estonia (, Charles Auffray, the President and Founding Director of the European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine (EISBM) in Lyon, France and Andres Metspalu, the Director of the Estonian Genome Centre and Biobank at the University of Tartu, Estonia, are going to review the recent developments of the Vistera Project discussed at the Bioforum last week in Shanghai (

The Vistera Project aims at fostering the transition from the reactive practice of medicine to a more proactive management of health and wellness based on the principles of Systems P4 Medicine (Participatory, Personalized, Predictive and Preventive). It builds upon the results presented by Leroy Hood, the President of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, USA during the EISBM session on systems medicine of the Environmental and Systems Biology conference in Grenoble last April (

Prominent research and hospital centres worldwide* have expressed their interest and commitment to implement an open standard protocol for the collection and integrated analyses of biological and clinical features, including comprehensive genetic, genomic and functional genomics assessments, as well as lifestyle and environmental exposures monitored through connected mobile devices. By monitoring individuals over a long period of time, the Vistera Project will provide them with actionable recommendations to maintain their state of health and wellness, detect early events indicative of a risk or a transition to disease, enabling their management and reversal.

The expectation is that expanding the monitoring from one to millions then billions of individuals over the next 25 years, the Vistera Project will trigger in one generation a reversal of the escalating costs of healthcare management, drug and diagnostic development. All partners of the Vistera Project are committed to respect the privacy of the participants and will implement stringent measures to ensure compliance with national and international regulations on personal data protection.

Andres Metspalu stated: "We are reviewing the information registered in the Estonia biobank for over 50,000 participants and expect that several thousands will qualify as Pioneers of Health and Wellness"

Samir Brahmachari reflected: "The Vistera Project represents a unique opportunity to leverage traditional knowledge from Eastern medicine together with the most advanced technologies from Western medicine"

Leroy Hood predicted: "A wide range of opportunities for social and economic developments will emerge that go well beyond the current scope of the biotechnonology and pharmaceutical industry to expand into wellness"

Charles Auffray indicated: "The World Alliance of Health and Wellness anounced in Grenoble will serve as a framework for the participation of many more public and private partners to this collaborative endeavour"

*The Vistera Project initial partners

  • Alvar Agusti & Josep Roca, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Charles Auffray, European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine, Lyon, France
  • Jacques Beckman, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Rudi Balling, Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Samir Brahmachari, Institute for Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India
  • Alfredo Cesario, Azienda Sant Maria Novella Hospital, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Dominique Charron, Jean Dausset Laboratory, St Louis Hospital, Paris Diderot University, Paris, France
  • Zhu Chen, Zeguang Han, Ping Ao, Shanghai Centre for Systems Biomedicine and RUi-Jin Hospital, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  • Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, USA
  • Martine Laville, Claude Bernard University and Lyon-Sud Hospital, Lyon, France
  • Antoine Magnan, Thorax Institute, Nantes University and Hospital, Nantes, France
  • Andres Metspalu, Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Laurent Nicod, Lausanne University and Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Peter Openshaw, Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • Christophe Pison, Jean-Louis Pépin, Patrick Lévy, Grenoble-Alps University and Hospital, Grenoble, France
  • Peter Sterk, Amsterdam Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Giulio Superti-Furga, Centre for Molecular Medicine, Vienna University and Hospital, Vienna, Austria
  • Jesper Tegner, Karolinska Institute Hospital and Science for Life Laboratory, Stockholm, Sweden

The 15th International Gene Forum 2015

June 18-19, 2015, in Tartu, Estonia

An annual international high-level scientific conference on genetics and genomics, the major event in the Baltics, provides an excellent opportunity to establish and renew contacts in the region.

Due to its interdisciplinary scope, the conference brings together 17-18 distinguished experts from Europe and US for discussion of the progress in the field. A mixture of fundamental topics blended with more practical and clinical examples will be covered, including precision medicine and health economics, human and evolutionary genomics, epigenetics, functional genomics and systems biology.

The conference incorporates also an exhibition aimed at the biotechnology related companies.

As the organizers, we hope that the forthcoming Gene Forum 2015 will create an inspiring environment to exchange ideas and experiences. The conference will take place in Tartu, the second biggest city of Estonia, rich in academic and historical traditions. We hope that your stay in Tartu will be both enjoyable and professionally stimulating.

Important Dates:

  • Final program available: April 10, 2015
  • Early Bird registration - until May 25, 2015
  • Regular registration - until June 12, 2015

Scientific Program Committee

  • Tõnu Esko (chair)
  • Andres Metspalu
  • Sulev Kõks
  • Jaak Vilo
  • Mait Metspalu