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Tonu Esko is Vice Director, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu and Head of the Estonian Biobank Science Center. He is also a research scientist in the Medical and Population Genetics Program of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
His research focuses on developing and implementing genomics-guided, personalized healthcare models at the national scale by using comprehensive electronic health records available for special populations as a means of understanding the role of DNA mutations.
Prior to joining the Broad Institute in 2015 to undertake postdoctoral research under the direction of Eric Lander, Esko had worked at the Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu, Estonia, where he began as a specialist and rose through the ranks to become assistant director. He had previously worked for the Estonian Biocentre while obtaining his master’s and doctoral degrees.
Esko holds a Ph.D. in molecular human genetics, an M.S. (cum laude) in biotechnology and biomedicine, and a B.S. degree (cum laude) in molecular human genetics, all from the Department of Biotechnology, University of Tartu, Estonia.
Among his many honors and affiliations, Esko has been a semifinalist for the American Society of Human Genetics Charles J. Epstein Trainee Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Research; he received the Estonian Academy of Sciences Young Investigator Scholarship; he was awarded first prize in the category of biology and environmental sciences for the Estonian national student research competition (Ph.D. level) in 2012; and he was a nominated participant at the 61st Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Young Researchers in Lindau, Germany.
Esko is a current eLife Science editor and a member of both the Estonian and American Societies of Human Genetics. He also acts as scientific advisor to the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium and chairs the scientific program committee for the International Geneforum conference.