The Malaysian Cohort

Research & Publication

  • The Malaysian Cohort project which began in 2006 and funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, is now funded partly via a development fund under RMK11 from the Ministry of Higher Education. UKM is very much sponsoring the operating expenses now. The project is now fully owned by UKM although in essence this is still a national initiative with UMBI as the key driver and as the custodian of the data and the biospecimens in the Biobank.

    There have been many interests and queries by researchers, local and international, on how they could access the data and the biospecimens. It must be remembered that this is a cohort study focusing on identification of risk factors and the discovery of biomarkers for chronic diseases such as cancers. There is a factor of time or follow-up to monitor events which have happened after the baseline recruitment or measurement. Many researchers want to access the biospecimens at baseline but this is not the primary strategic analysis one wants to do in a cohort study. Baseline data analysis is important, which we are doing, but it is the sequential events, morbidity or mortality, which are crucial to identify the risk factors and also the comparative analysis of data and biological parameters at baseline and when events happen.

    In the spirit of welcoming collaborators from outside UKM, both local and international, the management of UMBI and Cohort have put together some general guidelines to assist the planning of research proposals and grant applications with the intention of using the TMC data and biospecimens.

    1. The research proposal should be discussed with us at the very beginning and not when the grant is already approved.
    2. There should be a portion of the grant transferred to UMBI and this amount will mainly be to cover for the storage, maintenance, consumables and rental charges.
    3. There must be at least a co-investigator from UMBI and a significant portion of the work must be performed in UMBI.
    4. Each project should have at least 2 research students, and one of them must be registered and placed under UMBI.
    5. Biospecimens will not be transferred out unless the method of analysis, or equipment, is not available in our laboratory or it is cheaper to do it outside. If there is a transfer of biospecimens, a material transfer agreement will need to be signed.
    6. Data analysis from our database will be done by our biostatisticians and data scientists. The relevant tables will be given to researcher or students for the purpose of reporting or publication.
    7. If necessary, the relevant data for a particular project will be downloaded into a separate file for analysis by the external collaborator.
    8. Generally, the corresponding author for all publications will be from UMBI but in cases where it is justified, a co-corresponding author from the collaborating institution will be allowed.
    9. Any intellectual property arising from research on the cohort data and biospecimens belongs to UMBI. Shared IP may be discussed and will be decided on an individual case basis.
    10. UMBI and UKM retains exclusive rights for all data and biospecimens of the TMC and all discovery and publications arising from the analysis of data and biospecimens.

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