Professor of Human Genomics
University of Tartu


Tõnu Esko, PhD, is a Vice Director of Development and head of Estonian Biobank Innovation Center at Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, where he holds Professor Human Genomics position genomics. Dr Esko is also a Research Scientist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, USA and visiting researcher at the Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. He has founded and is co-leading several international consortia. He serves as Scientific Advisory Board member for several global companies.


The Estonian Biobank hosts a comprehensive data repository of 200,000 participants from Estonia. Over the past 13 years, Dr Esko has been coordinating Biobank R&D activities both in native Estonia and internationally, both in the academic and private sector. He has also been a crucial member of the Biobank's strategic leadership team in areas of fundraising, investment decision making on IT, technology and data infrastructure, and building partnerships with leading academic and industry players. His team is contributing to the Estonian Precision Medicine Initiative related activities by developing computational algorithms and feedback reports for personalized medicine applications.


Currently his work at Estonian Biobank Innovation Center is focused on building public private partnerships both with early-stage startups, SMEs, global corporations and VC funds across the fields of HealthTech, BioTech and MedTech by utilizing the rich Estonian Biobank digital health repositories as well as world-class scientific expertise. His latest endeavor is to set up an holding company for University of Tartu, an entity to park IP and data access based equity from startups, accelerators and even VC fonds.