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IHCC Newsletter

March 2022

In this edition

  • Message from the Co-Chairs
  • IHCC Featured Cohort: AWI-Gen – South Africa
  • Educational Webinar Series
  • IHCC Cohort Members’ Global Survey: Please Participate!
  • IHCC Working Groups Meeting Schedules: Join Us!
  • Announcement: Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (GGMC)
  • Community Events

Message from the Co-Chairs

Greetings to the IHCC Community,

Welcome to 2022 as the IHCC progresses toward achieving the goals and objectives outlined in our strategic plan. We are proud of the IHCC’s accomplishments during 2021 and the continued impact of our consortium.

In the last quarter of 2021, we held two workshops to engage our membership and provide them with tools for both collaboration and enhancement of their cohort’s resources.

The first of the workshops was hosted by the IHCC Data and Infrastructure working group and provided participants with hands-on experience in transferring cohort metadata into the Atlas tool.  Members learned how to use the Atlas for discovery of cohort data, connectivity between cohorts for potential collaboration, and the use of the Atlas toolbox for federated data analysis.

View Atlas Workshop presentations and recordings.

Over two days in November 2021, we held our Members Workshop, newly renamed IHCC-LINK, and heard updates on scientific progress from all the leaders of our IHCC Pilot Projects initiated in 2020 and 2021.  Each of the four IHCC Workgroups provided overviews of their action plans to implement the 5-year strategy and held interactive break-out sessions with members to discuss their plans.  Presentations followed by live panel discussions focused on the areas of collecting ancestry and environmental/climate data.  Lastly, we learned about funding opportunities for members, including advice on how to prepare grant applications.

View LINK Workshop presentations and recordings.

In 2022 we continue to be supported by our major sponsors, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, the National Institutes of Health, and the Wellcome Trust.  In preparation for long-term grant applications to both NIH and Wellcome later this year, we are strengthening our 5-year strategic plan with implementation details to serve as a framework for the research plans in the funding applications. To accomplish the timely submission of the highest quality proposals, we are planning detailed working sessions with IHCC Workgroup leaders over several days during March 2022.  Therefore, the usual Q2 timing for our annual IHCC International Summit will be shifted to later in the year.

Finally, we want to thank all our members for participating in our activities and who continue to provide valuable input to the IHCC surveys, workshops, webinars, newsletters, and meetings throughout the year.  You are the focus of these efforts as we endeavor to convene, connect, and catalyze successful scientific collaborations across the IHCC.  We are truly grateful for your time and effort.  Together we will achieve our vision as a global community of cohorts working together to advance science and improve health for all.

Sincerely, Geoff, Michele and Peter

If you missed the news, IHCC has a new third co-chair in the person of Prof Michele Ramsay. Read the announcement here.

IHCC Cohort Spotlight: Estonian Biobank


Africa Wits-INDEPTH partnership for Genomic studies (AWI-Gen)

PI: Prof Michele Ramsay (co-PI for the first 5 years: Prof Osman Sankoh)

The Human Heredity and Health in Africa Consortium (H3Africa) has made a fundamental contribution to enhancing genomics research and bioinformatics training across the continent. It supports cohort research, research projects, ELSI projects, biobanks and training initiatives, as well as a Pan-African Bioinformatics network. The research spans a wide range of diseases and has developed guidelines and policies for community engagement, participant consent approaches, sample and data sharing and consortium publications.

Continue reading to learn more about the great work being done by this cohort and its involvement with IHCC. 

IHCC International Cohorts Summit (ICS5)


5th International Cohorts Summit To Launch in Late 2022

As explained in the co-chair message above, the IHCC International Cohort Summit (ICS5) will be scheduled towards the end of 2022. Stay tuned for more details!

Did you miss the IHCC LINK (Members Virtual Workshop) in November 2021? You can view the recordings, slides, and executive summary on the workshop webpage below.

Educational Webinar Series Continues Into 2022


IHCC is excited to head into 2022 with our Educational Webinar Series, where we will continue to provide a collaborative platform for IHCC member cohorts to share scientific ideas, success stories, lessons learned and funding opportunities.

Our aim for this online series is to provide a forum for cohort members to exchange scientific ideas, best practices, and lessons learned; showcase cohorts’ accomplishments, emphasizing LMICs; share international funding opportunities; and more. Each month a different IHCC member will be featured as a guest speaker. Want to preview upcoming talks, register to participate and even host your own? View our Educational Webinar Series webpage below to learn more.

IHCC Cohorts Global Survey


We are so grateful for all the IHCC cohort member leaders who already completed the IHCC Cohort Global Survey! We are still missing some of you. If you are one of our IHCC cohort members, be part of our growing and evolving community and complete the IHCC Global Survey.

We have prepared the IHCC Cohort members’ Global Survey to support the IHCC working groups in implementing a strategic plan that aims to revolutionize population health science. The survey is designed to capture research priorities, capabilities, and ongoing initiatives across the IHCC. The survey will also help to upload the most updated member information into the IHCC-Atlas, and enhance further cross-cohort collaboration.

We would be very grateful if you could find the time to complete the survey, which should take 10-15 minutes to complete.

The survey will close on March 11, 2022, so act now! 

Opportunity to Participate!

Join a Working Group!

IHCC currently has 4 active working groups that meet during the following times:

  • Data Standards and Infrastructure: monthly on the second Wednesday at 10:00 am EST (15:00 UTC)
  • Policy, System and Bio-Data Sharing: monthly on the second Wednesday at 9:00 am EST (14:00 UTC)
  • Scientific Strategy and Cohort Enhancements: bi-monthly on the third Monday at 9:00 am EST (14:00 UTC)
  • Training, Sharing and Capacity Development (NEW): Schedule coming soon

Interested in joining a Working Group? Contact us at and we’ll connect you to the team.

Not an IHCC member yet? Apply here to join our community!

Organizational Updates

We are pleased to share with you the structural and branding changes happening within IHCC’s parent program, the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative, as a result of the organization’s growth and opportunities to expand its reach in the genomic medicine arena. These changes include the development of a “parent” organization that will retain the name Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative, with the acronym changing to GGMC. The current Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative will be renamed the Global Genomic Medicine Consortium, keeping the G2MC acronym. Both IHCC and G2MC will be housed under the GGMC organization, opening the opportunity for additional programs to join the GGMC organization. Continue reading to learn more about these changes.

Community Events


Third Human Genome Editing Summit: Online March 7-9

In partnership with the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, the US National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, and The World Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society is hosting a three-part series of online events looking ahead to the 2023 Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing, which has been postponed to March 6-8, 2023. These events, which run from March 7-9, 2022, will consist of live and recorded presentations, followed by panel discussions with questions from the audience. Registration for these events is not needed. All three events will be live-streamed and will be available to watch afterward. Visit the Royal Society event page for the full agenda and speaker line up, and to access the livestreams when available. 

COVID-19 Antibody Study Results Webinar: March 23

The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath) will hold a webinar on March 23 at 12 p.m. EST to discuss the results of a COVID-19 antibody study that included a follow-up COVID-19 questionnaire and collection of dried blood spot samples. In the webinar, Drs. Philip Awadalla and Victoria Kirsh will present an analysis of the more than 22,000 CanPath participant responses to the questionnaire and the serum antibody levels. Analyses will focus on variation in COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibodies by vaccine product (including heterologous (mix and match) vaccination), the timing of administration, number of doses, time since vaccination, and host factors such as age, sex, underlying medical conditions, and medications associated with immunodeficiency or immunosuppression. Identification of host and vaccine factors that affect immunity will allow for tailored recommendations regarding the need for vaccine boosters and additional vaccine doses. 

IHCC is a program of GGMC, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) (tax-exempt in the U.S.) organization. Sponsorships and donations to help support our mission are greatly appreciated.

Join Our Community

Interested in becoming an IHCC member cohort? Submit your cohort information using the form below to become part of our community. Member cohort information is posted in our Member Cohorts Database. If you’re already an IHCC member cohort, but need to update your information, you may also do so using the form below.