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Partners and consortia with MoBa as a member

MoBa has many collaborative partners and is a member of various consortia. The network involves co-ordination of information in European cohorts, research projects with international partners as well as Nordic and international co-operation.

Here is a list of partners:

Networks and consortia for co-ordination of information in European cohorts

EAGLE - EArly Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology consortium

This consortium consists of pregnancy and birth cohorts which aim to work together to investigate the genetic background of different phenotypes. They focus on mother and child during pregnancy, infancy and childhood. EAGLE covers a variety of approaches and phenotypes and works closely with DOHaD (developmental origins of health and disease) research.


The project is funded under the EU's 7th Framework Programme (FP7). The purpose is to assess and to provide robust health data for maternity / mother-child cohorts over a longer time period (the next 15 years). This work involves evaluating data from existing cohorts, registries and relevant European databases to identify gaps in knowledge and develop recommendations for targeted research on a European level. The main goal of Chicos work is to improve child health in Europe by developing an integrated strategy for European mother-child cohort research by coordinating efforts between the major European cohorts.


This website promotes the exchange of knowledge and collaboration between birth cohorts and researchers. Information about available cohort data on health data and environmental factors will be made available for public decision makers for use in advice and recommendations. The site contains descriptions of birth cohorts with key information such as the number of participants and contact people. For each cohort there is information about design and data, specific exposures and health outcomes as well as information on available biological material.

The European Child Cohort Network (EUCCONET)

The network gathers large and comprehensive mother and child cohorts for exchange of experiences, comparison of design and sharing of questionnaires and other tools that have been developed. It increases awareness and knowledge by providing a forum for discussion and easy access to expertise in the field. It stimulates the development of a professional network in a very specific field of study to obtain good data. This will contribute to the harmonisation of the birth cohort studies in Europe and promote data comparison on the development and health of children from different birth cohorts.

BBMRI – Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure

BBMRI is a pan-European and international research infrastructure and network of biobanks and biomolecular research. The infrastructure includes biological samples from patients and healthy individuals from different European populations where epidemiological data and health information is available from participants. Technology for molecular genomic analysis and analysis of biological data is available to optimise use of this resource in global biomedical research. The aim is to build an infrastructure for biomedical and biological research in Europe and the rest of the world based on existing infrastructures, resources and technology.

P3G - The Public Population Project in Genomics

This international consortium is dedicated to the development and management of a multidisciplinary infrastructure to allow comparison and harmonisation of research results obtained from population-based genome studies conducted worldwide. The consortium has developed tools, support systems and networks to help the international research community consider more effective health promotion strategies aimed at disease prevention, and tailor treatments for individuals, families and communities. The consortium consists of members from leading public organisations engaged in large-scale genetic epidemiological studies and biobanks.

The NIPH and NTNU participate in this consortium with biobanks associated with MoBa and HUNT.

Research projects with international partners

ENGAGE (European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology)

This research project is funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme. The project has a five year duration and began on 1st January 2008. The ENGAGE consortium consists of 23 leading research institutions and two biotech and pharmaceutical companies, with representatives from Europe, Canada and Australia. The purpose is to transform the vast amounts of data from research in genetics and genetic epidemiology of European population-based cohorts to obtain information that can be used for future clinical use. This will make it possible for European scientists to detect large number of novel genes with influence on metabolic, behavioural and cardiovascular characteristics and study the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors. The consortium will integrate and perform analyses of the biggest human dataset containing genetic information. The data set consists of whole genome analyses (GWAS) of more than 80, 000 individuals, and DNA and serum / plasma samples from over 600,000 individuals.

BioSHaRE (Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union)

The objective of the project is to assist the development of harmonized measurement and to standardise treatment infrastructure between biobanks. This is important work to streamline pooling of data and key methods of lifestyle, social and environmental impacts in order to identify phenotypes associated with common complex diseases. 16 institutions in Europe and Canada are participating in this collaboration.

Enrieco (Environmental Health Risks in European Birth Cohorts)

The project is funded under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme. The aim is to increase our knowledge of specific causal relationships between environment and health in pregnancy and birth cohorts by supporting research into the extensive data collected in previous and ongoing studies. The main focus is to uncover relationships within the environment and health in pregnancy and early childhood by extracting the environmental exposure and response relationships from existing data. The project will make preliminary efforts to standardise exposures and health outcomes. Structuring and consolidating the often fragmented data from different studies conducted in Europe will increase the knowledge base for environmental health contexts. Data on environmental health causal relationships will be made available in a format that can be used to prepare of advice and recommendations.

ESCAPE (European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects)

This study will investigate the long-term effects of exposure to air pollution on human health in Europe. The background for the study is that current figures from Europe show that fine particles in the air can have major impacts on human health.

NIPH has two collaborative projects in ESCAPE in which data from HUBRO and MoBa are used. The project uses data from the MoBa called "Effect of the presence of air pollution on pregnancy outcomes" using sophisticated exposure models based on measurement data and random models using Geographis Information System (GIS). Individual data from MoBa, where possible with explanatory variables (confounders), can be adjusted to give more precise data to provide analysis results without measurement error in terms of bias.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in North Carolina is one of 27 research centres and institutes that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). NIEHS helps to reduce the burden of human disease by increasing understanding of how the environment affects disease development.

In partnership with NIPH, NIEHS has provided financial support for the collection of additional biological samples from pregnant women in MoBa. These biological samples will be used for measurements of pollutants and other exposure analyses. Researchers from the Epidemiology Branch at NIEHS are involved in many sub-projects based on MoBa data, and more than 10 projects are registered from NIEHS. More than 10 NIEHS researchers, including 4 senior scientists are involved in MoBa research projects. 

Columbia University, New York, USA

In 2003, Columbia University and NIPH began collaboration on the Autism Birth Cohort (ABC), one of the largest autism studies so far in history. The study will follow 100,000 Norwegian mothers and children as a sub-study of MoBa and consists of the collection of clinical data and biological samples such as blood and urine. Blood samples are also collected from the umbilical cord of approximately 52,000 children to perform RNA analyses to examine how genes are expressed. The first results are released, but it will take decades to complete the study. The study is not focused on environmental impacts, but the researchers plan to measure a quantity of biological exposures - including infection, environmental toxins and nutritional deficiencies - for both mother and child.

International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C)

This international collaboration was established in 2005 to investigate the causes of childhood cancer. The consortium consists of many international birth cohorts and holds a large collection of prospective population data. Childhood cancer is rare, with an incidence of 70-160 cases per million person years among children under 15 years. None of the existing population cohorts are large enough to conduct research on such rare conditions alone. By establishing an extensive international collaboration, research can be conducted on rare cancers in children. The consortium seeks to incorporate as many birth cohorts as possible to benefit childhood cancer research. MoBa is participating in this collaboration.

NewGeneris -The Newborns and Genotoxic Exposure

This is an international research project financed by the EU 6th Framework Programme about food quality and safety, with scientists from 25 institutions from 15 European countries. NewGeneris’ objective is to investigate whether exposure to contaminants in pregnancy plays a role in the increased incidence of disease in children. The project began in 2005 and ended in 2010.

BraMat (Biomarkers of immunotoxic risk in newborns) and BraMiljø ("Healthy environment and children's health"), both sub-projects in MoBa, are two of several contributions from NIPH in this research collaboration.


The project is a large collaborative project that investigates the long-term consequences of nutrition in the womb through metabolic programming. The project consists of a multidisciplinary team of researchers from 38 institutions in 16 European countries. This EU-funded project started in 2005 and ended in 2010. The study of "early nutrition programming" uses an approach that integrates knowledge from randomized controlled trials, prospective observational studies, animal studies, and cellular and molecular analysis techniques. This will create a better understanding of the extent of how early nutrition and foetal programming can affect a person's development and metabolism in adulthood.

National Cancer Institute (NIH)

The National Cancer Institute coordinates the U.S.A’s national cancer programme that conducts and supports research, training and deployment of health information and programmes that follow up cancer patients. One of the main objectives of the Institute is to support and co-ordinate research projects in universities, hospitals and research centres both nationally and internationally. The objective of the research is increased understanding of the causal mechanisms of cancer and increasing progress in cancer prevention. A collaborative project has been established between the National Cancer Institute and Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål to use data from MoBa participants to investigate factors in pregnancy that can be linked to the development of breast cancer.

Nordic and international collaboration

Biohealth Norway

BioHealth Norway is a national collaboration between the NIPH and the Universities of Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø in genetic epidemiological research. The partnership is funded by the Norwegian Research Council’s FUGE program (functional genomics). The project period for BioHealth is 2007-2012.

Biohealth is based on biological samples, clinical research and health data from approximately 450,000 adults and children from the population cohorts MoBa and CONOR (Cohort of Norway). The main objective of Biohealth is better health by encouraging research that contributes to the identification of the cause of disease and thus improves prevention and treatment. This knowledge will include identification of new genes associated with complex diseases and new information on the interaction between genes and environmental factors.

Biobank Norway

After completion of FUGE’s financing of Biohealth in 2012, the national consortium and research infrastructure developed continues as Biobank Norway. In addition, the consortium has been expanded with the four regional health authorities in Norway to include the clinical research biobanks as well as the population-based health studies and biobanks. 
Biobank Norway is financed by the Norwegian Research Council in the period 2011-2013 for the development of a national research infrastructure for both population-based and clinical biobanks. The long-term goal is to establish Biobank Norway as the national research biobank in Norway, with biobanks located in two locations, at the NIPH in Oslo and at NTNU / HUNT. Biobank Norway also aims to maximize the use of biobanks as a starting point for research and to offer competitive biobank services at a high international level.