1979

Association with AMBA begins

The association between the Australian Multiple Birth Association and twin researchers begins. The Latrobe Twin Study follows from a request from members of the Diamond Valley Mothers of Twins Club for information on the differences between their twins and single children.
1981

National twin registry established

A national twin research registry is established when the Victorian Twin Registry combines forces with a team of twin researchers from Canberra led by Dr Nick Martin. It is named the Australian NHMRC Twin Registry; based at the University of Melbourne with John Mathews as its Director, and funded by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council. Its first major initiative is a questionnaire posted to nearly 4000 twin pairs seeking demographic and health information. One of the first studies by Professor Grant Townsend looks at children’s teeth and facial development; another looks at high blood pressure or hypertension.
1983

Scientific Advisory Committee established

The registry establishes a Scientific Advisory Committee with its first Chairman, Warren Evans, of Monash University.
1985

Becomes the largest volunteer twin registry in the world

With the help of AMBA and several media appeals, member numbers grow to almost 16,000, making it the largest voluntary twin registry in the world. Areas of major study interest: use of alcohol and tobacco; anxiety and depression; cardiovascular risk factors; osteoporosis; gout; and allergic responses.
1987

Annual scientific meetings launched and new epilepsy research

NHMRC Twin Registry inaugurates an annual scientific meeting to foster and stimulate medical research involving twins. The registry’s collaboration with Dr Sam Berkovic and epilepsy research begins at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital.
1989

Marking 10 years of funding support by the NHMRC

The registry marks 10 years of funding support by the NHMRC and this support continues today. Registry researchers meet His Holiness Pope John Paul II during a Papal Audience for the International Congress on Twin Studies in Rome.
1990

John Hopper appointed as Director

Professor John Hopper appointed as Director, a position he continues in today.
1994

80 registry-based studies instigated

A milestone reached with 80 registry-based studies instigated since 1981, and 130 publications in scientific journals. Major studies into melanoma, osteoporosis, heart disease, hyperactivity, premenstrual tension or PMS, children’s learning; eating and dieting; and motion sickness.
1995

World-first twin breast cancer study launched

Australian researchers launch a world-first study involving twins to better understand the causes of breast cancer led by Professor John Hopper. Princess Diana’s revelations about her bulimia draw attention to eating disorders - and the emerging twin research of Flinders University’s Tracey Wade.
1999

Renamed as the Australian Twin Registry

The NHMRC Twin Registry re-named as the Australian Twin Registry, and a new logo and inaugural website launched.
2000

New major studies

Major studies for the new millennium include: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; brain ageing; genomics; diabetes; eye diseases; prostate health; reading and numeracy ability; depression and anxiety.
2001

First Twins Plus Picnic

The ATR joins with AMBA to hold the first Twins Plus Picnic, the forerunner of the Australian Twins Plus Festival; held in the grounds of Government House, Melbourne
2004

World's largest eye-related study involving twins launched

Launch of Western Australian Twin Child Health (WATCH) study – one of the first of its kind in the world. Launch of the world’s biggest study involving twins into age-related eye diseases at the Centre for Eye Research Australia led by Professor David Mackey.
2005

Launch of MATCH

Launch of the Mothers and Twin Children study (MATCH) to collect vital data on the prenatal conditions of twin births, and the health of mothers during pregnancy.
2006

Introduction of new Advisory Board

Vince Pollaers, a twin and business executive, appointed as Chair. Major studies launched into genetic and environmental factors in cervical cancer led by Professor Suzanne Garland. Twins Plus Festival held in Canberra. Launch of the largest ever study of brain ageing undertaken in Australia led by Professor Perminder Sachdev.
2011

Re-brand while celebrating ATR's 30th birthday

Branding, logo and website refresh as the ATR celebrates its 30th birthday. ATR makes debut on Facebook. The ATR joins the International Network of Twin Registries and hosts the network’s first meeting in Melbourne.
2012

Biggest ever Twins Plus Festival

The biggest ever Twins Plus Festival held in Melbourne with 3000 attendees.
2013

HRH Princess Mary of Denmark announced as Patron and launch of Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire

Princess Mary of Denmark announced as the new International Patron of the Danish and Australian twin registries; undertakes her first official engagement as ATR Patron when she tours twin research in Sydney. Rollout of the Australian Twins Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire to every member to strengthen the registry’s research capability.
2014

Healthier Kids Research Conference and named as an Australian Centre for Excellence in Twin Research

The first of its kind held in Australia, the Healthier Kids: Insights from Twin Research conference brings twins and researchers together in Melbourne. The ATR named as an Australian Centre for Excellence in Twin Research, the country’s first such centre, with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council. This marks over 35 years of continuous funding by the NHMRC and reflects the vital part played by twin research in national health goals.
2015

Twins Festival and launch of first twin research hub

Unique attractions and a record number of researchers feature at the Australian Twins Plus Festival. First twin research hub launched in NSW at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.
2016

Growth and SBS media coverage

Milestones reached: membership grows to 74,000 twins and 1320 triplets; 230 studies; 1134 publications. SBS-TV broadcasts a national two-part series on twin research viewed by half a million people each episode.
2017

Renamed as Twins Research Australia

Twins Research Australia becomes the new voice of the Australian Twin Registry; new logo launched.

Twins Research Australia

Address: 3/207 Bouverie St
Carlton, Vic 3010

Freecall: 1800 037 021

Email: info@twins.org.au

ABN: 84 002 705 224

Twins Research Australia is a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and housed within the University of Melbourne.

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