Noomi Gregersen



Noomi Gregersen

Title of Presentation

“The FarGen-infrastructure”


Date and Place

Session C3


Speaker Biography

Noomi Oddmarsdóttir Gregersen is a researcher from the Faroe Islands. In 2015 she acquired here PhD degree from Aarhus University, Denmark. Her scientific work concerns the genetics of mental disorders, which has led to several publications about the genetics of patients with panic disorder from the Faroe Islands.

After years of studying in Denmark, Noomi O. Gregersen recently moved back to the Faroe Islands where she has become an integrated part of genetic research in her home country. Her scientific skills, comprising molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, and biostatistics has led her to become a key figure in the generation of the FarGen-Infrastructure – a genetic databank comprising whole-genome sequencing data from Faroese volunteers. This unique resource will enable a population-wide study of how genes, environment, and lifestyle affect the health of an entire nation, which in the long term perspective may led to the formation of personal medicine.



The FarGen-infrastructure The Faroe Islands is an archipelagic situated in the middle of the North Atlantic with a population size of 49,000 inhabitants. This isolated founder population is presumed to be the most genetically homogenous population in the North Atlantic, and has advantageously been used for genetic research of both monogenic and complex disorders. In this context the FarGen-infrastructure was created, a Faroese initiative to perform whole-genome sequencing of individuals living in the Faroe Islands. The project, managed by the Genetic Biobank of the Faroe Islands, aims to generate an infrastructure of genomic data for research purpose. In the initial phase 1500 individuals will be recruited and whole-genome sequenced. In order to set a base line for genetic variation in the Faroese populations, a very detailed Faroese reference genome will be generated. The Genetic Biobank of the Faroe Islands administrates three registries comprising tissue, diagnosis and genealogy of the Faroese people. Here, we present the plans of the Genetic Biobank of the Faroe Islands to expand the tissue registry to also include whole-genome sequencing data in the FarGen-infrastructure. This unique resource will enable a population wide study of how genes, environment, and lifestyle affect the health of the Faroese people. In addition, the FarGen-infrastructure will give rise to a large number of spin-off projects that will increase our knowledge about general human conditions, increasing our understanding of genetic diseases, and eventually enable future development of patient-specific medication.