The Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization (ToMMo) was established to overcome unprecedented damages that occurred due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. The mission of ToMMo is to contribute to the recovery of tsunami-affected areas through reconstructing medical system and to build the foundations for next-generation medicine.
ToMMo has been developing five-year plans, which consist of the first, second, and third phase operations. It has now been over 10 years since its establishment in 2012, and we are now implementing the third phase.
In the first phase, we have worked on cohort recruitment extensively. Since 2013, we have established two cohorts strategically, one is the Community-Based Cohort that targeting general residents in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, while the other is the Birth and Three-Generation Cohort that targeted pregnant women and their families. The former cohort has been established in collaboration with Iwate Medical University. Combining these two cohorts, we have been recruited a total of 157,000 people. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the people of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures who participated in this project.
In the second phase, we tried to create a large-scale and modern biobank that allowed us to securely store biological samples and information that have been entrusted to us. Furthermore, we are also conducting whole genome sequence and multi-omics analyses on these samples to develop integrated biobank, which share large scale information along with biological samples.
In the third phase, we have started strengthening the industry-academia collaboration system through allowing many researchers to be able to use the samples and information stored in our biobank. We are working on the establishment of efficient follow-up methods of our participants. We are also examining the health status of the participants and mid- to long-term effects of earthquakes and tsunami to the health of our participants. As one of the biggest population based biobanks in Japan, we wish to make positive contributions to the establishment of modern biobank in Japan.
ToMMo is striving to establish a next-generation medical system, focusing on personalized healthcare and medicine through integrating the results of cohort studies, biobank projects, and genomic-omics analyses. Our staff is determined to work together in order to create a future medicine in which each individual can choose suitable medical treatment and prevention approach that is backed up with strong lines of scientific evidence.