CO-CONNECT: COVID - Curated and Open aNalysis aNd rEsearCh plaTform

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Computer Science


CO-CONNECT is a collaborative project and it has four CO-PIs: Jefferson (Dundee), Sheikh (Edinburgh), Hopkins (PHE) and Quinlan (Nottingham).

The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, severely strained health systems and damaged economies across the world. At this time there is limited evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection and if so, how long that lasts. Understanding who is immune is vital to protect vulnerable individuals, to safely scale back population-based interventions and for managing disease transmission.
The data which can help us to answer these key questions have been collected across the UK by a range of research groups and within clinical primary and secondary care settings. As this is a new disease, the standards for antibody data capture are in their infancy so some of the details need to answer the key questions are not being captured systematically. The fragmented landscape of data means that it can be challenging for public health groups and researchers to find and access the high-quality data they need at pace.
We will:
- Standardise antibody data collection across the UK
- Configure an infrastructure which enables trustworthy, fast, de-identified, secure analysis of data sets from across multiple sources
- Answer key questions about immunity to COVID-19 and the implications for patient outcomes.

Technical Summary

CO-CONNECT is a collaborative project and it has four CO-PIs: Jefferson (Dundee), Sheikh (Edinburgh), Hopkins (PHE) and Quinlan (Nottingham).

The UK has rich, globally important COVID-19 datasets, including large serology cohort studies funded by UKRI, Wellcome, DHSC/NHS, NIHR and the devolved administrations. However, this breadth of data creates a risk of fragmentation, inconsistent structure and access processes, severely limiting utility, timeliness and impact.

Our vision is to transform UK COVID-19 diagnostic datasets to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) and couple this with expert data engineering, enabled by Health Data Research (HDR) UK, to catalyse responsible and trustworthy use of the data for research and innovation.

We propose to support PIs and data custodians to link COVID-19 cohort, serology and other health and non-health datasets. This longitudinal linkage is vital to derive new scientific insights and deliver informed decisions about how best to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. At present there are >30 independent studies with no streamlined approach to linkage to other health and non-health related datasets, lack of data standardisation, and no strategic approach to synthesise analyses across studies.

SAGE (9th June) requested HDR to work with partners to develop the UK-wide serology and testing data research asset that is linkable to other data sources.

This proposal has been prepared in response to this request. We have bought together 41 leaders from 29 different organisations and 44 data sources to address a major data engineering challenge by building upon existing UKRI investments, including the HDR BREATHE Hub, to create a 'one-stop' service for trustworthy, multi-stakeholder utilisation of curated COVID-19 data for public, private and third sector benefit.



Philip Quinlan (Principal Investigator)
Susan Hopkins (Co-Investigator) orcid
Ian Hall (Co-Investigator)
Ana Valdes (Co-Investigator) orcid
Amir Gander (Co-Investigator)
David Vincent Ford (Co-Investigator)
Gerry Reilly (Co-Investigator) orcid
Tim Gentry (Co-Investigator) orcid
Charlotte Manisty (Co-Investigator) orcid
Malcolm Gracie Semple (Co-Investigator) orcid
Shamez Ladhani (Co-Investigator)
Emma Lawrence (Co-Investigator) orcid
Susheel Varma (Co-Investigator)
Emily Jefferson (Co-Investigator) orcid
John Danesh (Co-Investigator)
Laura Shallcross (Co-Investigator) orcid
Aziz Sheikh (Co-Investigator)
Declan Terence Bradley (Co-Investigator) orcid
Andrew David Morris (Co-Investigator)
Jessica Mai Sims (Co-Investigator)
Katie Jeffery (Co-Investigator) orcid
Paul Moss (Co-Investigator)
Victoria Chico (Co-Investigator)
Louis Grandjean (Co-Investigator)
Emanuele Di Angelantonio (Co-Investigator)
Simon Thompson (Co-Investigator)
Nicholas John Timpson (Co-Investigator) orcid
James D Chalmers (Co-Investigator)
Joanne Martin (Co-Investigator)
Neil Sebire (Co-Investigator)
Jim McMenamin (Co-Investigator)
David Robert Seymour (Co-Investigator) orcid
David Wells (Co-Investigator)
John Kenneth Baillie (Co-Investigator) orcid
Ming Tang (Co-Investigator)
Benjamin Ollivere (Co-Investigator) orcid
Paul Elliott (Co-Investigator) orcid
Daniel Morales (Co-Investigator)
Tom Charles Giles (Researcher)
Roberto Santos (Researcher) orcid


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