The Global Pregnancy Collaboration (CoLab) is an international consortium of centers dedicated to facilitating collaborative research. One strategy is by establishing a system that enables the sharing of data and biological samples with investigators worldwide to facilitate research studies of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
This sharing strategy allows new questions about pregnancy complications to be addressed by providing large sample and data sets that could not be accumulated by a single study. CoLab representatives currently have data on over 300,000 pregnancies as well as over 20,000 plasma, serum and DNA samples stored in their biobanks, available to share whenever a proposal meets their approval.
Participation is free and requires only that an individual have an appropriate dataset and/or biobank, and be interested in collaborative research. There are monthly WebEx conferences to evaluate proposals and to conduct CoLab business. Each representative retains possession of their samples and makes individual decisions regarding participation on a project-by-project basis.
Each representative has the opportunity to request samples and data from all other centers of the consortium, greatly increasing the power of their research. If you are not a CoLab representative, you can apply for samples or data by acquiring a CoLab sponsor. These external projects become collaborations between donor groups and the project PI, and can be used to obtain funding for your research idea.
Beyond this we strive to improve collaboration with position papers addressing solutions to the challenges to collaboration and by highlighting important target areas for collaborative research. Our most ambitious effort is the formation of a database available to investigators worldwide to provide a common format for data storage to facilitate the ease of data sharing should investigator decide upon such as strategy.
We also believe that all of these strategies need to be carried out worldwide including in low resource centers. We now have nearly 20 centers in low resource settings. We also work with these centers to help them acquire external funding and work with them as advisers on these projects.