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Name of Collaboratory :


Cardiovascular Ontologies and Vocabularies for Epidemiological Research (COVER)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : End Date : Info Last Updated : Sat, Dec 4 2010 7:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Community Infrastructure Development  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :


Domain(s) :

  BIOLOGICAL/AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES >Biological Sciences >Biomedical Sciences  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


It is increasingly recognized that evaluating genetic variants for common complex diseases requires massive sample sizes, which can only be derived by combining data across multiple epidemiological studies. Semantic integration of data across studies using ontologies can maximize the statistical power and maintain the discriminating information between studies. While standard ontologies for molecular data are currently in use (e.g. Gene Ontology), associated ontologies for trait domains such cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors are lagging in development. Towards this end, the COVER project is developing ontologies for CVD risk factors to describe the clinical measurement, conditions and measurement methods using common tools such as OBO (Open Biomedical Ontologies). These CVD ontologies are being applied to three large epidemiological family studies (GenSalt, HERITAGE and HyperGEN), which are semantically annotated to create common data elements. A clinical database management tool was adopted to integrate the data ontologies across the studies using a technology infrastructure that leverages caBIGTM and can be fully integrated with other federated grid-based informatics initiatives such as the Cardiovascular Research Grid (CVRG) and the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN).


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  An interactive webpage has been created and a clinical database management system utilized to facilitate seamless data sharing and promote widespread data dissemination among research communities cutting across clinical, translational and epidemiological domains, including data sharing plans and strategic approaches for receiving and incorporating input from relevant “stakeholders”. At the website the COVER tool used to gather general project information, study specific overview with links to detailed study information, and searchable count data. The site is specifically designed for users to query the data to determine the number of participants with the desired attributes in the studies. Hence, an individual may use the look-up table to determine the feasibility of using data from one or more of the studies. Access to the raw data can then be requested and accessed through ClinPortal, a clinical database management system or through coordinating centers of the original studies.  

Access to People as Resources :


Funding Agency or Sponsor :

United States Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
Washington University in St. Louis
   Washington University School of Medicine
      Division of Biostatistics (Washington University in St. Louis)
Data Coordinating Center
   Center for Biomedical Informatics (Washington University in St. Louis) (CBMI)
Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW)
   Human and Molecular Genetics Center (Medical College of Wisconsin) (HMGC)

Notes on Participants/Organizations:


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

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