Estonian Genome Centre, UT, supports Vietnam in the creation of national biobank
The delegation of Estonian Genome Centre, University of Tartu, paid a visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam last week at the invitation of Hanoi Medical University. During the visit, a mutual cooperation agreement was concluded for the creation of Vietnam's national biobank. Vietnam is hoping to start collecting the data of gene donors already in the next few years.
Vietnam with its population of 90 million people is hoping to develop the respective legislation in the coming years and to soon begin collecting the data of gene donors all over the country. With the aim of gaining experience, the researchers at Hanoi Medical University have previously visited several European countries, including Estonia, in order to familiarise themselves with the structure of various biobanks. Of all the biobank models seen, the Estonian one impressed the researchers the most – as a result, they turned to the Estonian Genome Centre, UT, with the request of exchanging experience.
The cooperation agreement was signed by Director of Estonian Genome Centre, UT, prof. Andres Metspalu and Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations prof. Dang Vu Minh. During the signing, prof. Metspalu stressed the importance of biobanks in today's science and highlighted the significance of a legal basis and a strict code of ethics in addition to infrastructure and modern technology, which form the basis of any strong biobank.
The visit of Estonian Genome Centre, UT, took place with the support of a project funded by the Swedish SIDA agency which aims to promote the educational and scientific cooperation between the medical faculties of Estonian, Vietnamese, Swedish, Norwegian and Polish universities.