The FarGen-infrastructure

The Faroe Islands is a North Atlantic archipelagic with a population size of 50,000 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 were recruited and whole-genome sequenced (2016-2018). 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. With the FarGen data the tissue registry will be extended to also include whole-genome sequencing data. 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.