The vital role of twins in research has been recognised with the Federal Government announcing a new Australian Centre of Excellence in Twin Research. The new centre will provide ongoing support for the Australian Twin Registry.
The centre is being led by researchers and members of the ATR, joining forces to bring about improved health outcomes for all Australians through twin research.
“The centre – funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council for the next five years - is acknowledgement of the unique and vital contribution that twins are making to health and medical research. Twin research offers the potential to fast-track research and find cures,” ATR Director, Professor John Hopper explained.
“Already we have seen research involving twins produce important insights into conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, mental health and allergies, to name a few.”
The new centre for twin research was one of the four Centres of Research Excellence in population health announced by the NHMRC for funding from 2015-2020.
“What the CRE means for the ATR going forward is very exciting – the ATR will move from being a facilitator of twin research to a leader and driver of twin research in Australia and globally,” he said. “It will be a hub of multidisciplinary collaborations involving twin research to address health challenges for the whole population.
“The ATR has already started to move into this space, therefore, it is well positioned to continue our expansion and growth to this next level of excellence.
“We’ll continue to inform and involve our members as new initiatives related to the CRE are developed over the coming 12 months,” Prof Hopper said.
These initiatives include continuing to develop our state-of-the-art registry to ensure best-practice research; partnering with major planned new studies of early life, starting from pregnancy; establishing a bio-bank to potentially fast-track research; bringing together leading national and international researchers across disciplines for twin studies; educating and training early career researchers; and improved translation of findings to the twin community and the wider population.
“The members and researchers involved with the ATR can be very proud of this achievement,” Professor Hopper said. “Through your wonderful support of the ATR as volunteers in research, you have positioned us to generate transformative knowledge that benefits lives today and for generations to come in every corner of the globe.
“The CRE would not have been possible without the incredible dedication and enthusiasm of Australian twins and we thank you for your enduring support.”