Eline Slagboom


Professor P. Eline Slagboom, biologist, is head of Molecular Epidemiology at the Leiden University Medical Center. Studies in her group are aimed at the identification of biomarkers and causal pathways for metabolic health, age-related disease and longevity. The section of Molecular Epidemiology  is embedded in the department of Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics. Focus of the research in the past 10 years is on genomic determinants (genetic, genomic, epigenetic), biomarker, functional genomic and intervention studies of healthy/unhealthy aging and longevity in humans. In addition to the focus on ageing, the group has developed expertise specifically in the field of osteoarthritis (dr Ingrid Meulenbelt) and epigenetic epidemiology (Dr Bastiaan Heijmans).  Slagboom is PI of the Leiden Longevity Study, chair of the Medical Research Profile on Aging at LUMC and has a leading role in large consortia within ageing research. She was co-director of the Netherlands Consortium for Healthy Ageing, in the board of large scale EU collaborative research projects (GEHA) and PI of a large scale collaborative EU project (IDEAL: Integrated research on DEvelopmental determinants of Aging and Longevity).  She is member of various boards and scientific bodies, among which BBMRI.Nl (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) in The Netherlands. She organised the infrastructure for national efforts in metabolomics (25 cohorts) in BBMRI together with professors Boomsma and Van Duijn. Furthermore she is chair of DUSRA – Dutch Society for Research on Ageing and Section Editor of Aging Cell.

Application of multi-omics information to clinical problems in BBMRI.NL – A story of Sharing

Since 2009 more than two hundred biobanks in the Netherlands work together as the Dutch node within the European BBMRI-ERIC. In this initiative Dutch biobanks have aligned, connected and completed molecular data to enable multi-omics analysis for 4P medicine (prediction, personalised, prevention, participatory) purposes. The science emerging from using the infrastructure is based on innovative integration of multi-level molecular and phenotype data producing exciting novel insights. The infrastructure was created firstly to better understand the biology of the genome and support studies into the causality of traits and diseases. Secondly to create reference data for imputation and for health related and clinical studies providing the relation of molecular data to gender, age, body composition, medication, use etc. The molecular data brought together in BBMRI has been made available to the research community as BBMRI-Omics (GoNl, BIOS, BBMRI-Metabolomics) along with methodological toolboxes and atlases that can be used and queried for cutting-edge translational biomedical research. Layer by layer the molecular data is combined with other shared data such as imaging and behavioural data. In a range of studies, some of which will be discussed as an example, molecular data was analysed as causal markers of disease and health related traits (risk factors, cognition, physical capacity), as markers of disease prediction and prognosis and finally as markers of response to interventions.