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. Our members currently have data on over 300,000 pregnancies. They have over 20,000 plasma, serum and DNA samples stored in their biobanks, available to share whenever a proposal meets their approval.
Membership is free and requires only that a member have an appropriate dataset and/or biobank, and be interested in collaborative research. There are monthly WebEx conferences to evaluate proposals and conduct CoLab business. Each member retains possession of their samples and makes individual decisions regarding participation on a project-by-project basis.
Each member has the opportunity to request samples and data from all other members of the consortium, greatly increasing the power of their research. If you are not a member of CoLab, you can apply for samples or data by acquiring a CoLab member as a 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.
Do you need an online database to support your perinatal research studies? The Global Pregnancy Collaboration Database is coming soon! This online standardized database will be available for use by interested investigators world-wide to facilitate collaboration. The dataset has been well defined for studying pregnancy complications. It provides online access and data input, and allows retrospective diagnoses to be made. It is updatable, secure, and remains YOUR database.
Charges will be nominal (far less than establishing or even maintaining a database). These can be waived especially for investigators from low and middle income countries. The goal of the database is that if/when you choose to share data the availability of this common format for many investigators will greatly facilitate this process. Click here for more information.