Twins Research Australia

Research Overview

Twins Research Australia is a national organisation open to all researchers to access. We undertake and support research involving twins to address priority health challenges facing Australians and global population.

By examining the differences and similarities of twins, research can tease apart the complex interplay between genetics, epigenetics and the environment.

Twin research continues to play a major role in transforming our understanding of disease and future prevention and treatment relevant to the whole population.

Twins Research Australia (TRA) (formally the Australian Twin Registry) was established over 30 years ago as a national resource of twins and their families for health research. We have contributed to high impact findings in epilepsies, breast cancer, melanoma, smoking bone and dental health and continues to support research in obesity, HIV, dementia and mental illness plus many other health related fields.

To date we have supported over 120 researchers to conduct 230 studies which have produced more than 1130 publications.

Currently there are over 74,000 twins registered with TRA of all ages, zygosity (identical and non-identical) and different states of health from around Australia. On the whole they tend to be representative of the Australian population and therefore have a similar percentage of disease which provides a unique “people bank” to address a wide range of health-related issues. We are one of the largest volunteer twin research registers in the world.

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Chief Investigators

Professor John Hopper, TRA Director, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Jeffrey Craig, TRA Deputy Director, Deakin University
Professor David Mackey, University of Western Australia
Professor Stephen Simpson, University of Sydney
Professor Brian Byrne, The University of New England Associate
Professor Paulo Ferreira, University of Sydney
Ms Susan Carrick, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney


Prof John Hopper, Director and Unit Lead
Ass Prof Jeff Craig, Deputy Director of Research
Kate Murphy, Deputy Director of Strategy and Operations
Dr Katrina Scurrah, Statistician
Dr Sue Malta, Manager & Researcher
Lucas Ferreira, Researcher
Lynette Walker, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Jess Tyler, Research Liaison and Project Coordinator
Sam Crofts, Project and Communications Support
Jodi Lipman, Administration and Phone Support
Alison Wright, Project Administration and Support
Angela Shi, Graphic Designer

Alexander Campbell, Research Assistant


Twins Research, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney
Australian Multiple Birth Association


NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Grant

Research Outcomes

Hopper, J. L., Foley D. et al (2013). "Australian Twin Registry: 30 years of progress." Twin Res Hum Genet 16(1): 34-42.