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Global Pregnancy CoLaboratory: Updates from June-July 2014


This is a busy summer for the Global Pregnancy CoLaboratory as we continue to move several projects forward, publish papers, and work collaboratively to facilitate research and the establishment of biobanks in low and middle-income countries. We have also received some very exciting news and have been invited to submit a proposal for future funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We are currently working with Merck for Mothers on a project we had previously submitted to attempt to reduce the frequency of pre-term birth secondary to pre-eclampsia in Brazil. We have proposed a similar project in India and they are considering the possibility of funding in either country. We await word. We continue our efforts to establish a biobank in India in conjunction with one of the CLIP participants. A call for funding is expected soon in which we will participate. Unfortunately we received notification from the EU that our application to support funding of the European component of CoLab would not be funded. We appreciate the efforts of Chris Redman and Annetine Staff and we will resubmit in the future using lessons learned from this application.

The Angiogenic project group led by Dr. Annetine Staff has submitted a paper for publication describing their innovative strategies for combining multiple platform data into a cohesive unit. Dr. Laivuori continues her efforts towards the publication of a position paper on genetic research to understand pre-eclampsia. Drs. Posten and Ness continue their efforts towards addressing the administrative impediments to collaborative research, which will be submitted as an editorial to a high-impact journal.

We also welcome a new member to the CoLaboratory. The Preeclampsia Foundation, an extraordinary patient advocacy organization, has established a unique database and potential biorepository, which currently has nearly 1000 participants. The Preeclampsia Registry is a “living database” for medical research in which participants willingly provide medical information and family history and update their information regularly. Eleni Tsigas, Executive Director, has championed this effort and through her dedication and the motivation of women within the foundation and communities, the Registry continues to grow.

The database project led by Chris Redman is moving forward and quite importantly, funding for this project will be provided in the new BMGF award.

The International Society for the Study of Hypertension in pregnancy will hold their annual meeting in New Orleans in October 2014. CoLab will participate and have a presence at this meeting. Jim Roberts will present at the session for low and middle-income country investigators on the usefulness of biobanks in developing countries. Chris Redman and Les Myatt will describe the database currently in preparation. The strategies used by the angiogenic project to combine data from several analytical platforms will be presented by Orlaith Burke. We also have requested 30 minutes during a lunch break, to informally describe the CoLaboratory to interested investigators. Once the date and time are confirmed, CoLab members will be notified and encouraged to attend this session if possible to share in presenting information about the resources and benefits of the consortium.

Efforts continue in preparation for the 2014 CoLaboratory Conference to be held 1-4 September at Oriel College in Oxford. Our program will be slightly different than in prior years, as we will focus the greater portion of the meetings on examining issues related to the power of “big science/big data” to address what are considered the important questions in pre-eclampsia research. This will serve two purposes: (1) to identify areas in which we might join together to answer important questions, and (2) how future biorepositories and databases might be modified to ensure that the important information is collected. We have assembled a group of outstanding speakers within CoLaboratory and outside of CoLaboratory, with important relevant topics and we anticipate exciting and interesting interactive discussions. The 2014 Conference promises to provide valuable insights for current and future endeavors.