The European FP7-funded project (2013 – 2017) comprised the following work packages:
- WP1: Construction and population of registry with T2DM and obesity studies and linkage of meta-data. Aims to develop an online registry of studies relevant to the field of gene-environment interaction, provide an online mechanism for linkage to individual study-level meta-data and to populate this registry with studies where the outcome of interest is on T2DM or obesity (Lead: Matthias Schulze).
- WP2: Population of registry with specific minority and migrant population studies and linkage of meta-data. Aims to map relevant studies on diabetes and obesity among specific ethnic minority and migrant populations, produce standardized descriptors of variables at the study level, populate the registry established by WP1 and link to study-level meta-data (Lead: Charles Agyemang).
- WP3: Population of registry with studies in pregnancy and childhood and linkage of meta-data. Aims to identify the key pregnancy, intra-uterine, newborn, infancy and childhood exposures relevant to the study of gene-environment interaction for obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes; populate the registry established by WP1 and link to study-level meta-data (Lead: Ken Ong).
- WP4: Method harmonisation (exposures). Aims to develop a framework for the harmonisation of methods for exposures to enable the cross-study investigation of gene-environment interaction in the causation of diabetes and obesity across different populations (Lead: Nita Forouhi).
- WP5: Method harmonisation (genetics). Aims to harmonise the genetic information across diverse-ancestry populations to allow genetic association analyses (main and interaction) which combine all available data with optimal statistical power by leveraging the genetic diversity (Lead: Ruth Loos).
- WP6: Method harmonisation (outcomes and phenotypes). Aims to develop an interactive toolkit to compare phenotypic traits and outcomes from studies investigating the aetiology of obesity and diabetes (Lead: Donald O’Gorman).
- WP7: Data management and governance. Aims to identify feasible data management methods that allow for analysis of gene-environment interaction using individual participant data across studies globally within an appropriate governance framework and in accordance with all necessary ethical, legal and social considerations (Lead: Ronald Stolk).
Dissemination and networks
- WP8: Funders’ network. Aims to establish a funders’ network in order to engage the assistance of the funders in fulfilling the objectives of InterConnect and to create a forum for discussion of future global initiatives on gene-environment interaction on diabetes and obesity for which InterConnect has created the foundations (Lead: Ciaran Duffy).
- WP9 : Stakeholder network. Aims to develop a sustainable and dynamic network of stakeholders to support the overall goal of InterConnect in establishing a global initiative on studying gene-environment interaction on the aetiology of obesity and diabetes (Lead: Sarah Hills).
- WP10: Dissemination. Aims to disseminate information about InterConnect to the research community, funders, stakeholders and the wider public with the aim of increasing understanding of the value of data sharing to the study of disease risk between populations, encouraging participation in the research community and promoting uptake of project tools, exploitation of research and change in research policy and practice (Lead: Sarah Hills).
- WP11: Management. Aims to provide management structures and processes to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the project, provide strategic alignment with other international harmonisation initiatives and to facilitate a transition to sustainability over the longer term (Lead: Nick Wareham).