The University of Tartu and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences signed a cooperation agreement
The University of Tartu and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences have signed a three-year cooperation agreement. According to the agreement, the University of Tartu Estonian Genome Center and the Institute will cooperate to study the molecular and genetic factors regulating body weight, with the goal of understanding how body weight is regulated and what are its principal factors.
„For example, it is widely known that people eating identically can gain or lose weight at a different rate in spite of equal physical activity. The exact reasons for this are not yet known,” said Andres Metspalu, Director of the Estonian Genome Center.
The project, looking into the cause of a globally significant problem, is of great mutual interest and potentially significant scientific value. “Since health problems associated with obesity are a globally growing problem these days, healthcare costs related to, for example, the treatment of type II diabetes are also increasing correspondingly. Thus, the topic that will be studied mutually is not only important for Estonia and Switzerland but for the whole world,” said Metspalu.
The University of Tartu possesses, on one hand, scientists of international calibre, and on the other hand, a population-based biobank – the University of Tartu Estonian Genome Centre – permitting them to carry out relevant research. “It is a very good example how the investments made into the Genome Centre facilitate internationalisation of Estonian Science and cooperation through research funded by a world-wide corporation” pointed out Vice Rector for Research Marco Kirm.
The database of the Estonian Genome Centre currently holds information about the health of nearly 52,000 donors, including information on their eating habits.
The research is carried out in parallel in Estonia and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Lausanne.
More information: Andres Metspalu, Director of the Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu, phone: (+372) 737 5066, 506 3088, e-mail: andres.metspalu [ät] ut.ee.