Collaborative research has become the mainstay in knowledge production across many domains of science and is widely promoted as a means of Cultivating research quality, and enhanced resource utilization. Scientific collaboration is therefore Key in success of medical research and in addition is a continuous line of human relationships and traditions since past; like an unbroken thread. It links cultures and peoples. It brings tolerance and understanding. It delivers hope and compassion.
DDRI main research activity was to establish large scale prospective study creating mega scale database and biobank for long term longitudinal study with very successful full scale international scientific collaboration.

List of major DDRI Collaborations network across the World

1.WHO collaborating center for Study of Cancer and Noncommunicable Disease:

DDRI was recognized as a WHO collaborating center for Study of gastrointestinal cancer and noncommunicable disease (NCD) based on vast experience in gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer and NCD research. It was able to make data and scientific evidence more accessible to national and regional researchers and policy makers. The main focus is to reduce the burden of GI cancers in Iran and the region

2.Gastric and Esophageal cancer study in Northern Iran (GEMINI):

The Gastro-Esophageal Malignancies in Northern Iran (GEMINI) research project with the original aim of to identify etiologic factors and prevention measures for upper gastrointestinal cancers in Northern provinces of Iran, but its achievements have gone much beyond this initial goal. GEMINI consists of several projects including cancer registries, pilot studies, case-control studies, and the Golestan Cohort Study. GEMINI has been conducted through extensive collaborations between the Digestive Disease Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences with other domestic and international health organizations including National Cancer Institute (NCI) from USA, IARC .the University of Cambridge Cancer Genetics Group (UK), the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), the University of Glasgow (UK), the University of Leeds (UK), the Johns Hopkins University (US), Mount Sinai School of Medicine (US), and the University of Toronto (Canada) were involved in various aspects of the GEMINI project. This network prepared the ground to obtain internal and external funds for the preliminary phase of the project the achievements of GEMINI include producing new knowledge, introducing new research methods, developing and expanding health research and health care infrastructures, investing in human resources, and increasing the awareness and knowledge of policy makers at all levels about the importance of chronic diseases in Iran’s health priorities. The success of GEMINI reveals the feasibility of large-scale health research studies in developing countries and serves as
a successful model not only for health research in Iran, but also for similar research studies in other developing nations
Recently we have launching the GEM Share (GEMINI Shared Repository), available from :

This website will include a list of all GEMINI projects and papers, and serve as the new proposal submission portal, to facilitate the proposal review process, and also prevent the submission of overlapping studies. A list of previously approved project, or a submitted/published paper, available in the system

3.Global Burden of Diseases (world’s largest publishing collaboration in science):

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington engages a large network of individual collaborators with specialties in various topic areas to conduct the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) and its affiliated projects. GBD is a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the comparative magnitude of health loss due to diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and geographies for specific points in time and is the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. Collaborators are critical in both the data analysis as well as the policy uptake and proliferation of GBD and affiliated projects. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GBD 2010 significantly broadened the scope of previous versions of GBD. Using improved methods for estimating disability weights, GBD 2010 produced estimates for 291 diseases and injuries, 67 risk factors, 1,160 sequelae, 21 regions, 20 age groups, and 187 countries.
Christopher Murray and Alan Lopez began their collaboration on GBD in the early 1990s with a study calculating estimates for eight regions, 107 diseases, and 10 risk factors. Under their leadership, the GBD enterprise currently includes a network of 3,191 collaborators in 140 countries and three territories contributing to what has been recognized as the world’s largest publishing collaboration in science

DDRI became a collaborator in 1999 and authored  papers till 2018

 DDRI has been an active member of following research group within the GBD

Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration
GBD 2015 Neurological Disorders Collaborator Group
GBD 2016 Risk Factors Collaborators
GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators
GBD 2016 Causes of Death Collaborators
GBD 2016 Mortality Collaborators
GBD 2016 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators
GBD 2016 DALYs and HALE Collaborators
GBD 2016 SDG Collaborators
GBD 2015 Eastern Mediterranean Region Collaborators
GBD Iran and its Neighboring Countries, Collaborators
GBD 2015 Tobacco Collaborators.GBD 2015 Healthcare Access and Quality Collaborators
GBD Health Financing Collaborator Network
GBD Child and Adolescent Health Collaboration
GBD 2015 Maternal Mortality Collaborators

4.NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC):

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) is a network of health scientists around the world that provides rigorous and timely data on risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) for 200 countries and territories. The group works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), through the WHO Collaborating Centre on NCD Surveillance and Epidemiology at Imperial College London. NCD-RisC pools high-quality population-based data using advanced statistical methods, designed specifically for analyzing NCD risk factors. The Collaboration currently has data from over 2,545 population-based surveys from 193 countries since 1957, with nearly 129 million participants whose risk factor levels have been measured. DDRI is an active member of this collaboration since 2016 and is a co-author in publications. NCD-RisC is coordinated by the WHO Collaborating Centre on NCD Surveillance and Epidemiology at Imperial College London, and by its Director, Professor Majid Ezzati. Core funding for the NCD-RisC database is provided by the Wellcome Trust. Work on children and adolescents is funded by a charitable grant from the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme

 5.Global surveillance of trends in cancer survival (CONCORD):

CONCORD is the global programme for world-wide surveillance of cancer survival, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The CONCORD programme is endorsed by 40 national and international agencies, including WHO EURO, the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) and the World Bank.
CONCORD-3 updates the world-wide surveillance of cancer survival to 2014. It includes 18 cancers and groups of cancer that collectively represent 75% of the global cancer burden.
DDRI joined the CONCORD-3 and co-authored the paper which was published by The Lancet on Tuesday 30 January 2018

6.International network for study of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: InterSCOPE Collaboration:

Infection with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) types has been linked to various cancers, including cancers of the head and neck. However, the role of HPV in the causation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is unclear. InterSCOPE collaboration was established by German cancer research center to study the of HP in ESCC etiology. Six study groups, from South Africa, Australia (, Central and Eastern Europe, Brazil, Iran, and China, agreed to participate and forward their serum samples from histopathologically confirmed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma case subjects as well as serum samples from one or two age- and sex-matched control subjects to the German Cancer Research Center within a prespecified time frame for serological analysis. A total of 1561 case subjects and 2502 control subjects had complete information on all predetermined study-specific confounders.
 There was no serological evidence of an association between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and HPV in the populations studied. HPV does not appear to be an important risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

7.The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI):

is a new resource for Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts: (CEDCD)
This is  a public, descriptive database of cancer epidemiology cohorts with the goal to facilitate collaborative research efforts among cancer epidemiology cohorts and highlight contributions to cancer research and public health. In this database that is publicly available and searchable. The CEDCD will contain only descriptive information; it will not contain any participant-level data, this database will be updated annually

8.The Stomach Cancer Pooling (StoP) Project:

is a consortium of epidemiological studies of gastric cancer. The project started in July 2012, based on a core group of 10 studies. Several investigators joined the project during the last 5 years, and the consortium now counts over 30 studies from different world areas. The main aim of the StoP Project is to examine the role of several lifestyle and genetic determinants in the etiology of gastric cancer, through pooled analyses of individual-level data, after central collection and validation of the original datasets. DDRI is active member from beginning and have co-authored all publications

9.The Polaris Observatory Collaborators:

Is developed and managed by the CDA Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the support of studies and projects that increase the knowledge of human diseases, forecast future trends, promote disease prevention, enhance access to treatment and vaccines, and provide healthcare education around the world. The goal of the Polaris Observatory is to provide data, tools, training and decision analytics to support elimination of hepatitis B and C globally by 2030. The activities of the observatory are overseen by an independent advisory board with representatives from global health organizations, academia, liver societies, civil societies and donors.
Polaris observatory provides the most up to date estimates for HCV, HBV and HDV disease burden and strategies that can achieve defined targets.
DDRI has been a collaborator from 2015 and co-author the most important published paper.
Dr .Homie Razavi, (Center for Disease Analysis Foundation) Lafayette, CO 80026, USA is one of the PI.

10.International IBD Genetics Consortium (IIBDGC):

In recent years the IIBDGC has focused on collecting very large datasets from a diverse set of countries via world-wide collaboration. In addition to enabling the discovery of all these genes, we also try to dig a little deeper into what these associations actually mean. Our latest paper takes this further than we ever have before, involving analysts from a dozen research groups and using the latest statistical techniques to look for patterns across the 163 regions.
The combination of all this information allowed us make new statements about IBD risk that no single locus can tell us: IBD is not just genetically similar to other diseases of immunity, but is particularly closely related to certain inflammatory disease such as psoriasis. IBD risk is not only related to changes in the immune system, it is related to a particular subset of immune cells and signals. Not only is IBD risk related to susceptibility to bacterial infection, it is remarkably strongly connected with susceptibility to the family of bacteria that includes leprosy and TB.
DDRI is the only country in Middle east and North Africa as an active member IIBDGC

11.CRUK Grand Challenge - Mutation signatures for 5 cancers across 5 continents:

Mutograph collaborative study: Somatic mutations and mutational signatures in cancer
  This study which was funded by cancer research UK with the aim of this collaboration is to advance understanding of the causes of cancer through studies of mutational signatures. This will be done by exploring whether different mutational signatures in the DNA of cancers explain geographic differences in cancer incidence, by identifying the specific causes of mutational signatures, and by investigating whether mutational signatures in the DNA of normal cells can be used to monitor cancer-causing exposures in healthy people. Through understanding the causes of cancer, our work may lead to new approaches to prevent it and provide opportunities for more effective application of therapies.
We will focus on 5 cancers that have a clear or suspected link to common lifestyle risk factors for cancer including obesity, hypertension, diabetic history, alcohol consumption and meat consumption.  These include colorectal cancer, renal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and both adenocarcinoma and squamous cell esophageal cancer.  For each of these cancers we will identify and recruit at least 1000 cases from multiple regions across the world that comprise areas of very high risk and low risk.  All cases will be recruited using an extended ICGC protocol that includes extensive background lifestyle information as well as clinical outcome.  Whole genome sequencing of both tumor and germline DNA will be undertaken on all cases, prior to extensive identification of underlying mutation signatures.   This will be supplemented by a focused epigenetic epidemiology study to assess the potential value of methylation patterns to inform cancer etiology.   Mutation signatures and methylation data will subsequently be used to link with suspected risk factor information across high and low risk regions, allowing for identification of the causes of these large international differences, as well as identifying causes at the individual level.   We will also benefit from extensive input on mutation signature profiles from project

12.Cambridge Interconnect collaborative nutritional Study of Diabetes mellitus:

A systematic cross-validation of previously described exploratory patterns across different populations
Population: Include general population; no limits on age; exclude prevalent cases of type 2 diabetes
• Exposure: any dietary intake (amount/period and/or frequency of intake)
 Outcome: incidence of T2D: self-reported or objectively measured (information on diagnosis date would be ideal)

13.The Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC,

To organize a first forum with the goal of enabling leaders of large-scale longitudinal cohorts worldwide to share best practices, discuss data sharing, explore standards, discuss common challenges, and the potential for a larger collaborative sequencing strategy. The NIH, UK Medical Research Council (MRC), and Wellcome Trust have agreed to serve as sponsors, and we expect there may be sponsorship commitments from other HIROs leaders shortly. In contrast to just five years ago, discovering genes for disease is no longer the hard part. Future studies, including those of the IIBDGC, will have to focus not just on discovering new associations, but also on turning those associations into new biological understanding

14- Collaboration with National institute of drug abuse and of University of North Carolina (UNC) USA for study of metabolomic of opium addiction:

With this collaboration worked furiously to bring interpretation to the metabolomics results and have prepared figures, tables, pathway enrichment maps, and logistic regression models that are being used for several manuscripts that are in preparation.  The first three papers we have delineated are listed below, where we will share co-first authorships and senior authorship with UNC These datasets are very complex and are still being interrogated during the manuscript development phase. We are particularly interested in furthering the story line on metabolism perturbations and nutrition.

1.    Metabolomics reveals markers of opium use disorder
2.    Metabolic perturbations and the internal exposome in opium users
3.    Opium use and microbial metabolism

15- Household Air Pollution Consortium (HAPCO):

HAPCO currently involves 12 cohorts  (including Golestan cohort Study )from 8 countries on 2 continents. A major strength of HAPCO is the use of prospectively designed studies that substantially mitigate recall and temporal biases. A collaborative data harmonization procedure for exposures, potential confounders, and outcomes will be developed for accurate estimation of dosage and type of HAP exposure. By providing this platform, HAPCO will facilitate research by interested investigators to address public health concerns associated with HAP-attributed exposures. Future aims of HAPCO are to identify additional existent cohort studies to join the consortium, particularly cohorts conducted in Africa and South America where solid fuel use remains prevalent. HAPCO also welcomes additional project proposals involving sharing and pooling of data from interested researchers. These studies will have the potential to inform future interventions to reduce disease burden in global populations.

16- International 100K+ Cohorts Consortium (IHCC): A global platform for translational research (cohort to bedside and cohort to bench), informing biological/genetic basis for disease and impact on clinical care and population health:

The International 100K Cohort Consortium (IHCC) was established in 2018 at the request of the leaders of the Heads of International Research Organizations (HIROs) through a collaboration between the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC) and the Global Alliance for Genomic Health (GA4GH).
IHCC’s mission is to create a global network for translational research that will utilize large cohorts to enhance the understanding of the biological and genetic basis of disease and improve clinical care and population health.
Golestan and Persian Cohort studies are an active member of this collaboration

17-Collaboration with Department of Medicine and genetics at Yale University USA for genetic study of premature CVD disease:

We have established this collaboration in 2012 for study pf premature CVD in Iran and have been able to find two Genes LRP6 published in Science and DRYK1B published in new England Journal of Medicine. We have also exchanged several research fellows and this collaboration is now going on very well.

18- Mediterranean Task Force for Cancer Control ("MTCC"):

The primary aim of the MTCC is to relieve suffering and decrease mortality of Cancer in the Mediterranean Area by decreasing the incidence of cancer and particularly of advanced disease. This will be achieved through collaborative efforts by influencing policy, promoting networking, and providing services and programs in a multidisciplinary approach directed toward comprehensive cancer prevention and control.

DDRI is an active member and hosted the MTCC meeting once in Tehran and participating in most of ongoing activity of MTCC.

19- NCI Cohort Consortium:

The NCI Cohort Consortium is organized to promote and foster scientific collaborations among investigators engaged in large cohort studies focused on cancer risk and outcomes by: fostering communication among investigators associated with cohort studies in order to facilitate collaborative research projects that require a consortium approach; and providing a scientific forum to discuss common challenges in cohort research and to identify solutions.DDRI is an active member since 2014  with Sharing of Golestan Cohort data in several collaborative studies.

20-Asian Cohort Concretism:

The Asia Cohort Consortium (ACC) is a collaborative effort seeking to understand the relationship between genetics, environmental exposures, and the etiology of disease through the establishment of a cohort of at least one million healthy people around the world. These participants will be followed over time to various disease endpoints, including cancer. The collaboration also involves seeking partners among existing cohorts across Asia to facilitate the exploration of specific research questions that need more immediate answers.
Golestan cohort study is an active member of ACC.

21. The Global Nutrition and Policy Consortium

The Global Nutrition and Policy Consortium is an initiative based at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy which involves collaborating public health and nutrition experts worldwide. The main mission is to improve the health of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the world through improved diet by:Assessing global dietary intakes throughout the lifecourse, with particular focus on children, adolescents, and pregnant/nursing mothers. Understanding how both undernutrition and overnutrition affect health worldwide.Evaluating how dietary policies impact disease and assessing effectiveness of global dietary interventions.

This will provide innovative and highly relevant findings on dietary intakes, diseases, and policies that will inform priorities for prevention strategies to improve the diets and health outcomes of people around the world.

22.Personalized ‘‘disease-specific’’ protein corona study group:

The protein corona sensor array platform provides a library of corona compositions containing disease signatures. By analyzing the corona compositions of different nanoparticles, using supervised classifiers, we created a unique protein corona pattern which was the ‘‘fingerprint’’ of each type of cancer. Our results revealed that although no single protein corona composition from a single nanoparticle provides this ‘‘fingerprint’’ feature, we found that the pattern of corona composition derived from the nanoparticle sensor array provides a unique ‘‘fingerprint’’ for each type of cancer. To probe the capacity of this platform for very early detection of cancers, we used cohort plasma obtained from healthy people who were later diagnosed with lung, pancreas, and brain cancers several years after plasma collection and the outcomes revealed that the approach could identify and discriminate the cancers. We expect that the protein corona sensor array may also prove useful for the diagnosis of other devastating diseases.







National Scientific Collaborative Networks

1.Surveillance of Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases in Iran (Steps 2016)

2.H. Pylori Eradication clinical trial in Iran collaborators

3.HCV elimination network

4.HBV study networks

5.National Iran Cohort Consortium

6.National Iran Population Based Cancer Registry