Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre
The Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre was founded on October 1st 2018 with the mission to lay out a new avenue for studies of the origins of common endogenous human disorders and infectious diseases, which promote a perception of these disorders as a consequence of evolution.
The ambition of the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre is to characterize the evolutionary paths and processes, which led to the genetic architecture of brain disorders, and other human traits and common diseases in contemporary humans, as well as diseases caused by infectious pathogens.
The Centre is located at the Section for GeoGenetics at the GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen and headed by Professor Eske Willerslev and co-principal investigators Professor Thomas Werge and Rasmus Nielsen.
The strategy applied is systematic and large-scale comparative genomics analyses of human and pathogen whole-genome sequences across time, geographies and cultures. The contextual basis for the work rests on knowledge of the changes in the human population history throughout the past 10,000 years and hence rely on a deep understanding of where contemporary populations came from and how we became who we are. Therefore, the centre is also engaged in projects related to the domestication of plants, and past community changes in both marine and terrestrial environments.
The centre will establish a previously unprecedented research platform of three large-scale genomic panels generated from ancient human remains and sediments:
- An ancient human genome panel
- An ancient human pathogen genome panel
- An ancient environmental DNA genome panel, which will be launched as a public resource at time of publication.
The centre brings together leading danish and international research environments within ancient genomics, population and medical genetics, archaeology, geology and ecology, and collaborates closely with many local communities from around the world including:
- Prof. Richard Durbin, Univ. Cambridge Evolutionary and Computational Genomics
- Prof. Kristian Kristiansen, UCPH & Univ Gothenburg European Archaeology
- Prof. Laurent Excoffier, Univ. Bern Evolutionary Genomics, Bioinformatics
- Dr. Terry Jones, Charité Univ. Hosp. Berlin Pathogen Genomics
- Dr. Karl-Göran Sjögren, Univ. Gothenburg Archaeology
- Dr Daniel Lawson, Univ. Bristol Statistical Genetics
- Prof. Olivier Delaneau Univ. Lausanne Systems and Population Genetics
The centre was established on a grant from the Lundbeck Foundation of more than 60 million DKK and a generous partnership with Illumina.
Additional and generous support has subsequently been obtained from:
- The Novo Nordisk Foundation
- The Wellcome Trust
- The Carlsberg Foundation
- The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
- The Independent Research Fund Denmark
- The Villum Foundation
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions
- European Research Council
- The Swiss National Science Foundation
- The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Research groups affiliated with the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre
The SEG group works on developing and applying new computational methods in population and evolutionary genomics.
The Q-group research clusters in glacial geology, stratigraphy, associated landscapes as well as zoo- archaeology and environmental DNA.
The group implements ancient DNA and genomic data to study the generation, distribution, and conservation of biodiversity, focusing on herpetofauna.
The Korneliussen group develop and implement state of the art methods and programs for analyses of genomic data.
The Sikora group works at the intersection of ancient genomics, population genetics and paleoepidemiology.
Molecular Geobiology Group
The group investigates whether interactions between DNA and minerals could have had a contribution to the evolution of life.
The Racimo Group use population genetic theory and ancient DNA to understand how adaptation and admixture occurred in the past.
Paleo Environmental Genomics Group
The group use shotgun sequenced ancient DNA and DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct past environments.