When twins joined with researchers recently for the launch of NSW's first twin research hub in Sydney, it was a powerful demonstration of the might of twin research.
Leading twin researchers from NSW and around the world spoke about their studies and discoveries into conditions such as dementia and brain ageing, breast cancer, back pain, mental health and epigenetics. Then a panel of ATR members shared their heartfelt experiences of being a part of research that benefits the health of everyone in the community.
The launch was designed to increase the understanding of researchers in NSW of the potential and power of twin studies. And it certainly achieved this with over 100 researchers attending the event and generating much interest in possible new collaborations. We thank our members who gave up their time to explain how and why they join in twin studies.
Based at the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre, the new twin research hub is a joint initiative of the university and the ATR. The hub's aim is to encourage the growth and development of twin research in NSW, and to generate new collaborations to address major health challenges both in Australia and internationally.
"This is a unique opportunity for NSW researchers to make their mark globally and the ATR is delighted to join forces with an innovative world-leading research institute such as the CPC," said the Director of the Australian Twin Registry, Professor John Hopper.
"It is exciting that this new twin research hub should be launched in NSW at a time when twin research is coming to the forefront," he added. "With new technology at our fingertips - such as genomics and epigenetics combined with super computing power to analyse large biostatical data - twin research has the potential to contribute transformative insights in our understanding of health and disease."
The launch's International guest speaker, Professor Jan Hartvigsen, spoke about the value of global collaboration and involving twins in his back pain research. His latest findings are here.
Photo: from right; Prof Hartvigsen, ATR Director Prof John Hopper, CPC Academic Director Prof Stephen Simpson with ATR twin members at the CPC twin hub launch</p