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IHCC Newsletter

March 2023

In this edition

  • Message from the Co-Chairs
  • IHCC ICS5 – Thank You!
  • IHCC Climate Workshop
  • IHCC Cohort Spotlight: Opioid Cohort Consortium (OPICO)
  • Educational Webinar Series – Qatar Biobank Showcase
  • IHCC Working Group meeting schedules – join us!

Message from the Co-Chairs

Greetings to the IHCC Community,

Welcome to 2023 as the IHCC continues to grow and work toward achieving the goals and objectives outlined in our strategic plan. We are proud of the IHCC’s accomplishments during 2022 and the continued impact of our consortium on improving global health. Below we share some highlights of a very busy year:

  • The IHCC Cohorts Atlas was expanded to include information from 70 cohorts representing millions of study participants.
  • Our IHCC Educational Webinar Series increased to a monthly frequency and brought together a wide range of speakers and topics of interest to the IHCC community.
  • Several of our IHCC Pilot Projects published important scientific findings and secured additional funding to expand the number of participating cohorts and continue their impactful research.
  • The 5th International Cohorts Summit (ICS5), a four-day virtual symposium, brought together 254 participants and 48 speakers from 43 countries. Keynote presentations on pandemic preparedness, climate and global health, cohort collaborations in low/middle income countries and future funding opportunities were interspersed with interactive panel discussions on cloud computing, digital cohort tools and industry collaborations. An Executive Summary of ICS5 events and IHCC Working Group action items along with videos of the sessions are available for review.

One of the action items emerging from ICS5 is to organize an IHCC-Climate & Health Workshop during 2023. The primary goal of this workshop will be the design of a cross-cohort pilot project with currently available cohort climate data in response to specific funding agency requests. If you are interested in helping to organize the workshop or if your cohort would like to participate in this Climate & Health pilot project, please contact us at

Finally, we want to thank all our IHCC members for participating in our various activities. We appreciate that you continue to provide valuable input to IHCC surveys, workshops, webinars, newsletters, summits, and governance 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.

As always we welcome your input and guidance – please reach out anytime.

Sincerely, Geoff, Michele, and Peter

IHCC International Cohorts Summit (ICS5)


Thank You!

We want to thank the entire IHCC community and all our guest speakers for your participation and engagement in ICS5! You can find the executive summary and recordings on our event webpage and at the following links:

Videos of all presentations given during ICS5 can be found on the IHCC youtube here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

We look forward to seeing you in person at the next summit!

Stay tuned for more information regarding ICS6.

IHCC Climate Workshop


As part of the resulting action items from ICS5, IHCC is currently planning a virtual climate workshop. The desired outcomes of this workshop are to:

  1. Design a cross-cohort pilot project with currently available climate data in response to funding agency requests.
  2. Demonstrate the collaborative power of IHCC members and produce significant results that impact global health.

We encourage your participation and input in this workshop. If you are interested in the planning process please reach out to Scott Sundseth via email (

IHCC Cohort Spotlight


Opioid Cohort Consortium (OPICO)

Primary Investigator: Mahdi Sheikh, MD, PhD

OPICO is a consortium of 10-12 existing cohort studies that aims to harmonize data from these cohorts and their linked medication dispensing records to generate new data on opioid use in these cohorts and study whether using opioids is associated with cancer risk. Continue reading to learn more about the impactful work being done by this cohort consortium.

IHCC Educational Webinar Series


Qatar Biobank Showcase

We started out this year strong with a number of educational webinars and we recently concluded a 5-part webinar series from the Qatar Biobank. This series explored the 10-year journey of Qatar Biobank from conception to today. Some of the topics covered included:

  • Establishing a biobank laboratory
  • Designing a collection strategy
  • Quality standards in biobanking
  • Building IT for biobanks
  • Participant recruitment and immersion

We had a total of 285 registrants and an average of 65 participants per session. After each session, we had a lively Q&A and we will share the recordings to encourage knowledge sharing and capacity building. Thank you to the Qatar Biobank team and everyone that participated in this showcase!


Upcoming Webinar

IHCC is excited to have Dr. Phillip Awadalla as our speaker for the upcoming webinar on March 30, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. EST, 1:00 p.m. UTC, titled “Using the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health to identify the Earliest Determinants of Disease Evolution and Aging.” Please click below to register for the webinar.

About the IHCC Educational Webinar Series

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 Working Groups Meeting Schedule - Join Us!

Join a Working group! We need your unique perspective to achieve our goals.

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): Bi-weekly internal meetings only for now

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!

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.


A global community of cohorts working together to advance science and improve health for all.


To forge cohort connections that revolutionize population health science by providing sustainable data infrastructure, cultivating a collaborative research environment, and promoting policies and best practices that foster connectivity, interoperability, and reciprocity.

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.


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