Immense number of analyzes


"LifeGene will make it possible to answer research questions that demand very large samples. The project is a prospective study where we cannot foresee the immense number of analyzes that can be done throughout the years to come," Professor Göran Pershagen at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institutet, says. Professor Pershagen chairs the Inflammatory disorders/allergy working group.

"With 500.000 study participants we will be able to study how interactions between genetic and environmental factors influence the risk of disease. For example, the occurrence of allergies has increased in recent decades, which must be due to changes in lifestyle and environment, but it mainly affects individuals who are susceptible. Elucidation of important gene-environment interactions is crucial for the understanding of etiological mechanisms and in setting priorities for prevention.

It is also important to note that the combination of health and lifestyle information with tissue and other samples is unque. Such samples have generally not been collected in epidemiological studies. Access to individual data from different registers is another feature strengthening the LifeGene concept.

The design requires considerable economical resources. However, thanks to recently developed techniques to collect information by using cell phones and the Internet we will be able to considerably cut costs. Such IT-based techniques have been used with success in fieldwork at Karolinska Institutet and are thoroughly tested and validated.

One exciting challenge with LifeGene is the interdisciplinary research that can be done. New combinations of ideas will, I am sure, lead us to important discoveries in many research fields," Professor Pershagen concludes.

The Institute of Environmental Medicine is an interdisciplinary research organization and constitutes a department within Karolinska Institutet as well as a national expert authority in environmental medicine. The research program focuses on four areas: epidemiology, environmental medicine, physiology and toxicology. Some current topics of interest include environmental causes of allergy, health effects of air pollution and mechanisms of toxicity involving programmed cell death.






Bild Göran Pershagen

Göran Pershagen

Professor at Institute of Environmental Medicine


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