Estonian scientists pay visit to Vietnam

  • 2013-11-20
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Members of the Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu have paid a visit to Vietnam, reports LETA.

During the visit last week, a mutual cooperation agreement was concluded for the creation of Vietnam’s national biobank, Tartu University said in a statement.

Vietnam is hoping to start collecting the data of gene donors already in the next few years, reports LETA. 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.

Researchers at Hanoi Medical University have previously visited several European countries, including Estonia, in order to familiarize 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 Center, UT, with the request of exchanging experiences.

The cooperation agreement was signed by Director of Estonian Genome Center, UT, professor Andres Metspalu and Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations professor Dang Vu Minh. During the signing, professor 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 to the Estonian Genome Centre, UT, took place with the support of a project funded by the Swedish SIDA agency which aims to promote educational and scientific cooperation between the medical faculties of Estonian, Vietnamese, Swedish, Norwegian and Polish universities.