The COLS Plan


One of society’s greatest modern challenges is to improve health and achieve health equity for all at lower cost. To meet this challenge, diagnostics must be able to detect disease at its very earliest stages. Therapies must be curative, minimally invasive, and cost-effective. And, we must achieve greater health equity by better understanding the impact of social determinants of health on health and health outcomes.

The biological specimens in COLS will be one of the largest repositories in the world. And, the community health data will be one of the richest sources of social determinants of health information. When researchers access both, they will be able to understand the interactions between biology and environment in unprecedented ways. The impact of this will be more than additive, it will be multiplicative.


COLS will collect blood and urine annually from one million participants. These samples will be made available to qualified researchers who will use the samples for analysis. The blood and urine will not be analyzed by COLS.

COLS is disease inclusive by design. Most participants will be well when they enroll in the project.


Participant Recruitment & Retention Strategies

COLS will recruit one million Coloradans through a coordinated statewide effort that relies on a combination of partnerships with health care providers, hospitals, chronic disease groups, navigator programs, and other health related organizations.


How COLS is Different from other Biobanks

There are several characteristics of COLS that differentiate it from existing repositories.

First, most biobanks are created to study a given disease and consist of samples from ill patients.


Information Technology & Informatics

The immensity of the data set that will be generated by the COLS samples and comprehensive health data presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Security and confidentiality requirements are also critical. Due to the trillions of data points that will be collected, there is no turn-key IT solution that will work perfectly for COLS.


Why a Million People

A cohort of one million people, all residing in Colorado, will enable researchers to study community dynamics all the way down to the neighborhood level. Studies with fewer participants or a larger geographic area cannot hope to understand communities at that level of detail.


Biological Sample Collection & Storage

The blood and urine collected through COLS will be a unique and precious resource for researchers. Procedures and protocols must be developed in order to ensure that multiple molecules are preserved. These samples will be used for decades to come. Therefore, storage is crucial.



The COLS repository will be unlike any other in the world. It will revolutionize the way we approach health, health care, and health equity. It will consist of the most comprehensive bank of biological specimens from one million participants and in-depth comprehensive community health data, collected over a ten-year period. It will allow researchers to ask questions that they have never been able to approach before. The understanding gained from COLS will serve as a roadmap for other states and countries to craft their own programs. We hope you will become as passionate about our vision as we are. Please join us and be a part of something truly transformative.