Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre

Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre

     Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (LBMC) is the leading scientific institute in molecular biology and biomedicine in Latvia. Since its establishment in 1993, it has evolved into a powerful scientific centre performing basic as well as applied research in molecular genetics, vaccine development, genomics and proteomics, cancer biology, immunology, biotechnology, structure biology and other scientific areas. LBMC has established a significant base infrastructure for molecular and cell biology research. Qualified specialists can give competent consultations as well as give technical support for various research activities, besides, these services are also available for researchers from other institutes. In close cooperation with higher education institutions in Latvia there is also work in the field of education. Highly qualified academic staff, friendly environment and world-class equipment provides opportunities for the training of Latvian and foreign undergraduate students and doctoral students. At present, LBMC has over 160 staff members, including 41 PhDs, and comprise 12 research groups.

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     LBMC is the coordinator of INTEGROMED project and, as such, it will be responsible for the implementation of all Administrative tasks of this proposal. Although LBMC is indicated as Lead Partner in all WPs, it shall be responsible for implementation of knowledge transfer, communication and dissemination activities in an equal manner with all project partners. The only additional workload is related to administrative management of each WP. The work package leaders were selected from experienced LBMC researchers on the basis of their resolve, administrative and communication skills, and experience in the respective scientific fields that are covered by this proposal. The Genome Database of Latvian population that has become an important part of LBMC infrastructure will be the main source of the biosamples, clinical and omics data during the project.





     LBMC is the leading institution in Latvia in the field of biomedical and molecular biology research having several state-of-the-art core facilities: (1) Genome Centre (2) Cell culture facility (3) Animal core facility, (4) IT and bioinformatics unit. Biobanking, genotyping and sequencing facility as a part of the Latvian Genome Centre has a well-functioning sequencing unit exploiting Applied Biosystems capillary sequencer 3130xl16, IonTorrent PGM and IonProton, Illumina MiSeq, and MGISEQ-2000 sequencers including necessary equipment for library preparation. Laboratory has an experience in a range of sequencing projects – from targeted to microbiome to whole exome sequencing and subsequent data analysis. It is equipped with and ViiA7 systems (Applied Biosystems) TaqMan real time PCR instrument.

     The biobanking unit is based on the well-functioning sample preparation and storage laboratories. LBMC serves as the national node for BBMRI-ERIC and implements number of quality insurance programs and participated in organising clinical trials. It has basic molecular biology and safety equipment (centrifuges, laminars, Nanodrop, Qubit 2.0), low temperature freezers and liquid nitrogen containers. Biobank sample management, selection, pre-/post-PCR applications are carried out according to standard operation procedures controlled by a laboratory information management system. Genome Database of Latvian Population (LGDB), a government financed population based biobank, comprises detailed information on phenotype, DNA, white blood cells, serum samples and detailed information on phenotype from over 33 000 participants recruited in collaboration with hospitals and general practitioners.

     Animal core facility directed by FELASA certified specialists is designed as separated premises with restricted access. It contains animal housing areas including barrier facilities for SPF housing like positive air pressure, separate ventilation (HEPA) and air showers, racks with individually ventilated cages, space for washing and sterilizing equipment; equipped procedure rooms (anaesthetic and surgery equipment); quarantine area and storage area. Facility includes also BSL1 and BSL2 blocks. Two researchers from Prof. Klovins group have received certification and is currently performing mice experiments in this facility.

     Dedicated IT and bioinformatics unit has the hardware power available and automation capability to handle the data amount expected in this project. Bioinformaticians will ensure the implementation of data analysis in a consistent and timely manner. Experts from LBMC Bioinformatics unit have been involved in several ongoing projects aimed at microbiome analysis ranging from studies of infectious diseases like tuberculosis or investigation of the gut microbiome interaction with antidiabetic treatment to more specific studies aimed at analysis of ancient microbiome from burial sites in Latvia. Service provided by IT and bioinformatics unit will ensure the implementation of high quality data analysis in a consistent and timely manner.

     Recently LBMC has gained support from Riga Technical University (RTU) High Performance Computing (HPC) Centre, providing access to modern computing infrastructure (supercomputer, data storage facilities; Parameters: total cores: 744, total memory: 2.6 TB, temporary storage volume: 238 TB, GPU accelerators: 14, Performance: 20 TFLOPS (x86)).