The Iceland’s star of human genetics: Kári Stefánsson will open TF Life Sciences

October, 7 2015

Their Headquartered is in Reykjavik, Iceland: that’s perhaps the key reason of their success.

Their name is deCODE and the company’s Founder, Kári Stefánsson, is recognized all over the world as a leading figure in human genetics: he will trip from Reykjavik  to Milan, and give the opening remarks to the first Technology Forum Life Sciences, on Tuesday October 13th.

Since the founding of the company in 1996, deCODE have gathered genotypic and medical data from more than 160,000 people, comprising well over half of the adult population of Iceland.

Putting together a genealogy database covering the entire present day population and stretching back to the founding of the country more than 1000 years ago, they’ve obtained and extraordinary map,  that enables them to impute or predict genotypes using the genealogies, multiplying many-fold the amount of data that they can derive from genotyping and sequencing.

That’s why deCODE genetics is nowadays a global leader in analysing and understanding the human genome. With the distinctive ability to correlate two large sets of data: on variations in the sequence of the genome on the one hand, and on variations in phenotype or condition, such as a disease or some physical trait, on the other.

‘Our advantage arises from the complexity of the challenge’, they affirm: ‘The common diseases – such as heart attack, asthma, stroke and cancer – arise from the interplay of multiple genetic and environmental and lifestyle factors. Moreover, our ability to genotype, or read specific ‘letters’ in the genome, is constantly and rapidly increasing. Sequencing entire human genomes enables a detailed understanding of the rare as well as common variations that impact disease. deCODE is well positioned to lead the way in generating and analyzing whole sequence data for large scale studies’.