Workgroup of clinical genomics and cancer @Estonian Genome Center (UT)
The group's R&D activities are focused around large-scale analysis of genomic sequences and using the variant data in the translational medicine by giving feedback to biobank participants on the estimated genetic disease risks and incidental findings. We also perform analyses of cancer-related somatic variants, especially those related to drug sensitivity in lung cancer.
In the analysis of germline genetic background, our initial efforts will be devoted to the discovery of actionable genetic conditions, such as dyslipidemias, familial cancer syndromes, familial cardiac disorders, etc. and using the data for personalized recommendations. This will be complemented by utilizing polygenic risk scores for complex disorders, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, nonfamilial breast cancer for genetic feedback in individuals with predicted top risk estimates. The data on genetic alterations discovered in liquid biopsy and tumor specimens will be communicated to the managing oncologists to aid the selection of optimal therapies. The participant understanding, psychosocial aspects, follow-up actions taken in the medical institutions will be surveyed and used for improving the feedback procedures.
The workgroup is led by Dr. Neeme Tõnisson. He has >15 years of experience in genomics and cancer genetics, complemented by clinical genetics. In parallel with research activities, he is also working in the hospital lab and lately in clinical genetics counselling.
Researchers and graduate students of the workgroup have background in molecular medicine, molecular biology (gene technology, microbial genetics, population genetics, bioinformatics), genetic counselling and general medicine.
TEACHING AND RESEARCH
Neeme Tõnisson, MD, PhD, Senior Researcher, Clinical Geneticist
Tarmo Annilo, PhD, Senior Researcher
Tiit Nikopensius, PhD, Researcher
Evelin Mihailov, MSc, Researcher
Anu Reigo, MD, Specialist in Clinical Genomics
Madli Tamm, MSc, Specialist in Cancer Genomic Analyses
Liis Leitsalu, MSc, Genetic Counselor
Kaie Lokk, MSc
Liina Pappa, MSc
Marili Palover, MSc
Kertu Liis Krigul, BSc
Karmen Vaiküll, BSc
Oliver Aasmets, BSc
Maia Arge, BSc
Katrin Keerma, Ass. MD
Margot Saare, BSc