EURIBEB is a joint effort of the Erasmus Medical Center and the Erasmus School of Economics. The institute collaborates closely with the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC) and the CHARGE consortium for genomic epidemiology.
EURIBEB is at the forefront of international scientific research, as documented by our publications, grants, and the broad network of leading scholars from various fields that collaborate with us. In addition to basic research, the center contributed to teaching and training at Erasmus University Rotterdam through its renowned research schools like the Tinbergen Institute, the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) and Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES).
EURIBEB is uniquely able to do this through:
- recruiting and collaborating with a broad range of world-leading experts from different fields, and facilitating their working together
- application and development of novel research methods (e.g. bioinformatics, statistical genetics, molecular genetics, econometrics)
- recruitment and development of excellent students
- organization of workshops
- access to large sets of data for populations who have been studied and followed-up over many years
- its location at the Erasmus School of Economics, at the heart of the lively Woudestein campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam, in one of Europe’s most international and vibrant cities – Rotterdam
- its close collaboration with the faculty of Economics and Business of the Vrjie Universiteit (Amsterdam) that allows us to bundle resources for research, jointly recruit PhD students and staff members, and to train PhD students from both institutions and beyond in our interdisciplinary research environment
The roots of EURIBEB go back to 2007 when researchers from the Erasmus School of Economics and the Erasmus Medical Center started a joint research project to investigate the molecular genetic architecture of economic outcomes. The collaboration was motivated by the following insights:
- There are well-documented relationships between socio-economic variables and health outcomes, but little is known about the causal reasons for these observed relationships.
- Although there was evidence that many social scientific traits are to some extent heritable, the then existing approaches to gene discovery in the social sciences have often not produced replicable findings.
- Medical researchers had developed proof-of-concept that replicable genetic discoveries are possible if strict statistical quality criteria are combined with very large samples, often organized as research consortia.
- Some of the variables that social scientists are interested in (e.g. educational attainment, happiness, occupational choice) are available in very large sample in genotyped cohorts from around the world.
- Genetic discoveries for social scientific outcomes could serve as starting points to investigate the complex interplay between behavior and health.
Motivated by these insights, the founding members of EURIBEB established the Gentrepreneur Consortium, which conducted the first large-scale genome-wide association study on an economic outcome: self-employment. This later led to the development of the SSGAC. Fueled by the success of these interdisciplinary research initiatives, the board of Erasmus University Rotterdam decided in 2013 to provide seed-financing for EURIBEB, which was launched in January 2014.