Why work with us?

Are you interested in what we can offer? Find out why you might choose to collaborate with us here.

Volunteers at talk

We aim to provide researchers access to a unique resource that helps us to better understand what might cause health conditions such as heart disease, eye disease, stroke, diabetes and more. Specifically, our goal is to better understand genetics and health across the Scottish Isles, in order to support the development of future treatments.

Viking Genes has been recruiting volunteers since 2005. Over 10000 people have joined one of our cohorts. We invited people with 2 or more grandparents from the Hebrides, Orkney or Shetland to join our latest cohort. Recruitment for our most recent cohort study closed early in 2023.

Viking Genes combines responses to questionnaires and “omics” phenotypes with data from genetic samples and electronic health record linkage, allowing us to follow volunteer health over time.  We work closely with researchers and our volunteers to develop research that will benefit everyone.

What distinguishes Viking Genes from other population and family-based studies? We:

  • are the only population genetics research study of the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland
  • represent geographically and genetically distinct high kinship UK populations
  • have a biobank of whole blood, RNA, DNA, urine, plasma and serum samples from subsets of participants
  • have genome-wide genotype, whole exome and whole genome sequence data
  • have extensive phenotypes including cognitive, imaging, anthropometry, electrophysiology, ophthalmology, biochemistry, haematology, spirometry
  • have one of the richest multi-omics datasets in the world, including glycomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, proteomics, methylomics, exosomomics
  • consented our participants to re-contact for future studies
  • have linkage to volunteer electronic health records for longitudinal events and deaths
  • have permission to work with commercial companies
  • are open to research and discussion with collaborators across the globe

Are you a researcher interested in accessing Viking Genes volunteer data and samples? Find out more about what we have available and how to find it here.

Accessing Viking Genes volunteer data and samples