PhD student in biology, University of Nantes
Dissertation title: Creating DNA biocollection for reference population of Western France (1990-2017): a case study using STS approach
Dissertation under the direction of Richard Redon et Catherine Bourgain (CERMES3)
The last three decades witness massive creation of DNA banks for health, biology and epidemiology research. Using STS approach, the present study describes, how and why a regional French health and research institute, specialized in thoracic and metabolic diseases, constituted a DNA biobank (PREGO) from more than 5,000 healthy blood donors from western France. In line with laboratory studies, participant observations, documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews firstly showed that the French blood agency (EFS) settings and historical routines allowed researchers to access local populations while facilitating acceptance of DNA donation because practical and conceptual displacement was barely required. Nevertheless, associated tacit conditions include a use for public research and medical applications. Secondly, the design of this biobank showed that genetic and spatial epidemiology became key features in this institute because their experimental systems alternate between clinic, laboratory and territorial resources. By tracking those objects, circulation of knowledge, practices, and genetic data were visualized. The institute mastered these reconfigurations and navigated through various scales and actors. Hence, it became a key actor in French population genetics in fabricating local populations for genomic medicine.