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Researcher eNews, Spring 2021

In this edition:

Book: Twin and Family Studies of Epigenetics 

Congratulations to TRA Director Prof John Hopper and TRA researcher Dr Shuai Li who have edited a new volume in the Translational Epigenetics series: Twin and Family Studies of Epigenetics. Together they have gathered expert opinions on epigenetic twin and family study research methods, recent findings across various disease areas, and future directions for research and clinical application. Click here for more information.

First-ever Virtual TwinsFest Australia

TRA is hosting TwinsFest Australia 2021 on October 28th, 7.30pm-9pm AEDT, a first-of-its-kind virtual event celebrating the contributions of our members, researchers and partners - past and present - to our 40 years of life-changing research. The evening is designed to be fun and inspiring with twin entertainers, comedians, competitions and quizzes as well as interviews with researchers and TRA members about the vital research work they’ve been involved in. Please save the date and join us for this special evening. We’ll advise further details in coming weeks. 

Pregnancy and birth characteristics of Aboriginal twins: a data linkage study

Outcomes of multiple births in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are investigated in this interesting new paper written by Alison Gibberd from the University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Epidemiology Unit, and TRA researchers Jess Tyler and Katrina Scurrah, and their colleagues.  

Noting that perinatal outcomes for singleton pregnancies are poorer, on average, for Aboriginal people than non-Aboriginal people in Australia, they set out to explore how multifetal pregnancies fared. Pregnancies, births and perinatal outcomes for Aboriginal twins born in Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW) were compared to Aboriginal singletons in both states and to non-Aboriginal births in NSW.

It was found that many Aboriginal twin pregnancies and births are physically and practically challenging and the majority of multiples are born early and small. This study highlights the importance of policies that support health services to meet the practical, financial and psychosocial needs of mothers and families, in addition to meeting their health needs.

You can read the paper here, and there is a simplified explainer here.

TRA welcomes new PhD student

TRA recently welcomed their new PhD student, Vivienne Esser, under the supervision of John Hopper and Shuai Li. 
Vivienne is working on further developing the Inference about Causation from Examination of Familial Confounding (ICE FALCON) model. Previously, she completed undergraduate degrees in Mathematical Sciences and Health and Medical Sciences from the University of Adelaide. Vivienne’s Honours research involved finding associations between maternal risk factors, prenatal trajectories of mental health measures, HPA axis function and maternal and infant outcomes.
Welcome Vivienne!

Budapest 2021 - The 19th International Congress on Twin Studies, November 11-14, 2021

ISTS and ICOMBO welcome you to join them for the 19th International Congress on Twin Studies.  All workshops and sessions will be live wherever possible, with opportunity for attendance in Budapest for those who can travel. All workshops and sessions will also be recorded.

The call for papers will be announced shortly. Cash prizes will be presented for the Galton Prize for best student presentation, the Gedda Prize for best student poster and the ICOMBO award for a research paper that would benefit multiple birth families written by an Early Career Researcher.  Registration free to ISTS members.

For more information, see Facebook page, or click here for more information.

36th Conference of the Japan Society for Twin Studies (JSTS), January 22, 2022

The Japan Society for Twin Studies (JSTS) is planning to hold its 36th conference on January 22, 2022, on a hybrid-flexible online platform. The call for papers from researchers around the world (whether affiliated or not with the Japanese society) is now open. Subjects are not limited to genetics, and all topics related to twins are welcome. 

For more information, please click here.

Recent publications

A selection of recent publications from TRA and our collaborators are included below.

Journal articles and book chapters:

Media stories:

Do you have upcoming research to be published?

If so, remember when referring to Twins Research Australia during the course of your research, to please ensure you use our current name and logo. Also, a reminder to use the following wording when acknowledging Twins Research Australia in your publications:

“This research was facilitated through access to Twins Research Australia, a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant (ID: 1079102), from the National Health and Medical Research Council.”

An electronic copy of all publications should be sent to

1800 037 021 | |

Our mailing address is: Twins Research Australia, 3/207 Bouverie Street, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.

Copyright 2017: Twins Research Australia, Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton, Victoria 3010. TRA is a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and administered by the University of Melbourne.

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