Introducing CORAL, a neurology research consortium using Olink data

In its mission to accelerate proteomics together, Olink encourages the advancement of science through comprehensive support of its customers in their own studies to achieve better insight into their areas of research. Sometimes, this may be achieved through collaboration with other scientists in their fields.

As a result, Olink has played a part in creating several consortia involving Olink customers with similar areas of interest, such as SCALLOP, where like-minded researchers work together to publish high-impact papers investigating the association of genes and proteins included in Olink protein panels.

Such was the case for Olink’s neurology customers. Seeing a need for more collaboration between them, Olink reached out to Charlotte Teunissen to chair a new consortium where Olink neurology researchers from pharma and academia may collaborate in different workgroups and projects to advance their research questions with Olink data at its heart. Together with postdoctoral fellow Dr. Lisa Vermunt, Professor Teunissen is driving this initiative, with administrative support from Olink.

CORAL brings biomarker research to neurology

The purpose of the CORAL consortium is to explore and identify novel biomarkers and biological mechanisms for neurological diseases, with the aim that they may be used for diagnostic, monitoring, and/or treatment response. Using Olink protein biomarker data as a base, PIs from all over the world using pioneering technologies and methods will work together in CORAL neurology studies and research initiatives. Combining and sharing data also adds strength and statistical power, greatly expanding sample sizes for studies as well as allowing PIs to learn and conduct complex analyses that may not be possible alone.

The CORAL neurology kick-off meeting

The CORAL consortium initiative began with a kick-off meeting on the 22nd of July 2021, with the purpose of gathering interested neurology researchers with Olink data to discuss the structure and organization of the consortium, as well as attendees’ expectations, preferences, and ideas. Dr. Teunissen chaired the meeting and presented the initiative and her ideas for how the consortium may work going forward, with the intention to hear the panel’s responses, feedback, and work on agreements and possible collaborations between the researchers who attended.

The kick-off meeting began with a short introduction to Olink and its role in the consortium by Anne-Li Lind, the scientific liaison for neuroscience at Olink, who will coordinate Olink’s support for CORAL. Olink’s role in the consortium will be purely supportive and promotive, and Olink will not own or have access to any CORAL data. Professor Teunissen and her team will lead CORAL and decide which support is needed from Olink to run the consortium successfully.


Limitations may be overcome with the sharing of data and collaboration between consortium members

Lisa Vermunt, the coordinator of the consortium, gave a presentation on CORAL, and how she and Dr. Teunissen see opportunities for collaboration in CORAL. Such opportunities exist in all steps of the process from biomarker discovery to clinical implementation. In summary, many biomarker studies suffer from a lack of strength, with regards to small datasets, statistical analysis, lack of population cohorts, and the inability to replicate analyses in a more diverse patient cohort. They hope that by establishing CORAL, such limitations may be overcome with the sharing of data and collaboration between consortium members.

The meeting then moved to a round-table discussion involving the attending researchers, who included researchers from Dr. Teunissen’s network as well as Olink’s neurology and neuroscience contacts. Overall, attendees were optimistic and supportive of the consortium and the opportunity to collaborate in their research, and several ideas for project collaboration were suggested.


Join us!

If you are a neuroscience researcher with shareable Olink data and wish to join CORAL, visit the CORAL website to learn more.