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Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology

Organisational unit: Department

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The Department has an international track record of research into the genetics of complex diseases with a particular focus on age-related trait diseases. It encompasses the biggest adult twin registry in the UK with over 11,000 twins used to study the genetic and environmental aetiology of age related complex traits and diseases.

The Department has published over 500 research papers based on data collected from the twins and has collaborations with over 60 groups worldwide. The database has an extensive range of phenotypes obtained from twins many of whom have attended the Department for clinical visits over the last eighteen years.

Our work is funded and supported by:

The Wellcome Trust The Arthritis Research Campaign The British Heart Foundation The Chronic Disease Research Foundation The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, and The European Commission. The Department has also set up a unique cohort of 1003 aging women followed for 18 years (the Chingford study), which produced valuable data on the natural history and progression of age-related and musculoskeletal diseases. 

It is participating in a number of FP6 and FP7 EU projects and is the coordinator of an EU project involving seven other institutions looking at the genetics of clotting and strokes; it is also coordinating an FP7 project which includes nine other partners and is looking at Translational Research in Europe Applied Technologies for Osteoarthritis.

The principal focus of research is on complex genetic traits, the main categories being in the area of aging, CVD, metabolic syndrome, and eyes.

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