Twin pairs, brother, sisters and sibships: methods for the statistical analysis of family data

Project Details

Comparing the association between genetic and environmental exposures and the risk of disease both within- and between-families provides a powerful way to discover determinants of health and illness. This program has extended existing methods for the analysis of clustered data in epidemiological studies by proposing and validating novel regression models for data contributed by related individuals.


Associate Professor Lyle Gurrin

Dr Sophie Zaloumis

Professor John Hopper

Professor John Carlin


NHMRC Project Grant 2008-2010

Research Publications

Academic publications arising from this study include:

Hopper, J. L., Bui, Q. M., Erbas, B., Matheson, M. C., Gurrin, L. C., Burgess, J. A., Lowe, A. J., Jenkins, M. A., Abramson, M. J., Walters, E. H., Giles, G. G., Dharmage, S. C.  Does eczema in infancy cause hay fever, asthma, or both in childhood? Insights from a novel regression model of sibling data.  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.  (2012)  130 5  1117.

"Jamsen KM, Zaloumis SG, Scurrah K,Gurrin LC"  Specification of Generalized Linear Mixed Models for Family Data using Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods  Biometrics and Biostatistics (2012)  

Odefrey F, Stone J, Gurrin L, Byrnes G, Apicella C, Dite G, Cawson J, Giles G, Treloar S, English D, Hopper J, Southey M.  Common Genetic Variants Associated with Breast Cancer and Mammographic Density Measures That Predict Disease.  Cancer Research (2010)  70   1449 – 1458

Turkovic, L.; Gurrin, L. C.; Bahlo, M.; Dite, G. S.; Southey, M. C.; Hopper, J. L.  Comparing the frequency of common genetic variants and haplotypes between carriers and non-carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 deleterious mutations in Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer before 40 years of age BMC Cancer  (2010)

Stone, J.; Gurrin, L. C.; Hayes, V. M.; Southey, M. C.; Hopper, J. L.; Byrnes, G. B.  Sibship analysis of associations between SNP haplotypes and a continuous trait with application to mammographic density Genet Epidemiol  (2009)

Research Group


Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Screening and early detection of disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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