PRELIMINARY PROGRAM


Thursday 11 November

Time zones are CET times.
Workshops - Session 1
Workshop 1A
09:00 – 12:30 
ICOMBO – Discussion of activities conducted by members
Hosted by: Monica Rankin
Chairperson, International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations (ICOMBO)
chair@icombo.org


In this session, members will share projects, research, and other activities they have conducted since 2017. A review of the Declaration of Rights and Statement of Needs of Twins and Higher Order Multiples will be conducted.
Workshop 1B
09:00 – 12:30
Twin Statistics – Part 1
Co-organisers: Jacob Hjelmborg, Katrina Scurrah, Márton Piroska, (Levi Littvay, Instructor)

This workshop will continue in the afternoon (CET Time), Workshop Session 2 -  Workshop 2B.

Twin studies remain highly relevant to health and medical research, especially given advances in biological science and technology which have created new opportunities and possibilities. This workshop will focus on statistical approaches for designs other than the classic twin study, such as the matched case-cotwin design, and non-continuous outcomes such as binary and time to event data.  Advantages, limitations, good statistical practices and assumptions of these approaches will also be discussed. Practice datasets and Stata and R code will be provided. The workshop will conclude with in-depth discussions showcasing worked examples from current research.
Workshop 1C
09:00 – 12:00
Do it with twins: tips for twin studies and registers
Co-organisers: Dorret Boomsma, Gonneke Willemsen, Adam Tarnoki, David Tarnoki, Emanuela Medda, Jane Loke

Setting up and maintaining a twin register has its challenges. In this workshop we review and examine a number of these challenges and present and discuss a number of possible solutions. We start with some thoughts about diversity in twin registries. Next, as twin registers are famous for their longitudinal follow-up of participants, we focus on participants engagement, which is especially important for longitudinal commitment. The additional challenges of longitudinal studies, as well as the impact of the Corona crisis are the topic of the third presentation. We then change the focus towards some design and methodological aspects, including the extension from twins to twins and their families and towards multiple generations, and talk about developments in the analysis of such twin family data. We conclude with insights from multiple established twin registers across the globe, namely those which were established over 25 years ago, drawing on past their experiences, hearing about their successes and providing suggestions for the future.

9:00
Twin registers across different cultures
Yoon-Mi Hur
Institute for Education Research, Department of Education, Mokpo National University, Jeonnam, South Korea.

Veronika Odintsova
Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

9:20
Participant engagement

Isabelle Budin-Ljøsne
Division of Epidemiology, Department of Genes and Environment, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

Gonneke Willemsen
Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam ,the Netherlands

9:40
Longitudinal studies and the impact of Covid

Emanuela Medda
Centre for Behavioural Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Jane Loke
Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia; Early Life Epigenetics Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital; Parkville, Australia.

9:50
Questions and discussion

10:00
SHORT BREAK

0:10
Extended twin studies and trans-generational studies

Tim Bates
Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Nathan Gillespie
Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavior Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA

10:30
Overview of recent new technologies for twin studies

Mike Neale
Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavior Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA

Hermine Maes
Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavior Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA

10:50
Insights from twin registers

Dorret Boomsma
Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Gonneke Willemsen
Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

11:10
Questions and discussion

11:20
END
Workshop 1D
10:00 – 12:30
Microbiome Workshop
Co-organisers: Chika Honda, Helga Szabo, Rie Tamizawa, David Tarnoki
Information (pdf)

Chairs: Chika Honda, David Tarnoki

10.00-10.30am
Dr. Jun Kunisawa (Osaka, Japan): Microbiome and health: current topics

10.30-11.00am
Dr. Emily Leeming (UK): Microbiome twin research in the UK: experiences and practical issues

11.00-11.30am
Dr. Ruth Bowye (UK): Beyond diet: distal environmental factors influencing the composition of the human gut microbiota

11.30-12.00am
Dr. Rie Tomizawa (Osaka, Japan): Microbiome twin research in Japan

12.00am-12.15pm:
Dr. Helga Szabo (Budapest, Hungary):  Microbiome research: Hungarian experiences

12.15-12.30pm: Discussion

Workshops – Session 2
Workshop 2A
13:00 – 16:30
Twin Systematic Reviews – Part 1
Hosted by: Shayesteh Jahanfar, David Haas, Donald O'Mathuna, Isha Taneja, Tiffany Duque, Joel Gagnier

This workshop is a top-rated standard author training offered by "Cochrane Trainers" from four universities across the United States: Tufts (Boston), Ohio State University (Ohio), Indiana University (Indiana), and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). We also have the coordinator of the Cochrane US Network (Seattle) on board.  You will learn how to conduct a systematic review of twin studies using Cochrane's high standard methodology. The concepts discussed include ten steps of developing a protocol,  meta-analysis, heterogeneity, and writing a review.  We also introduce software(s) Revman, Covidence, and Grade_Pro.  Small group activities will help you develop protocols to be registered with Cochrane Collaboration. Participants can apply for a mentorship program
following the workshop, which supports them throughout all the steps for six months to 1 year.


1:00-1:40pm       
Introduction & How to write a Cochrane review-Shayesteh Jahanfar

1:45-2:20pm       
Steps in writing a protocol-David Haas

2:20 -3:00pm                
Defining a review question- Tiffany Duque

3:00- 3:40pm               
Small group activity – Defining a review question for your review  (Four facilitators, each group will have 5 participants and one facilitator)

3:40- 3:55pm               
Introducing screening software-Covidence- Isha Taneja

3:55- 4:30pm       
Assessing risk of bias -Donal O’Mathuna


This workshop will be continued in Workshop Session 4A, Friday.
Workshop 2B   
13:00 – 16:30
Twin Statistics – Part 2
Co-organisers: Jacob Hjelmborg, Katrina Scurrah, Márton Piroska, (Levi Littvay, Instructor)

This is a continuation of Workshop 1B.
Workshop 2C   
13:00 – 16:00
Twin Birth Cohorts
Co-organisers: Jeff Craig, Sonia Brescianini

Chairs:

Jeffrey Craig, PhD
The Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT), Deakin University, Australia

Sonia Brescianini, PhD
Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Summary:

Longitudinal twin birth cohorts are able to link early life risk factors with risk for chronic conditions and provide valuable information for twin growth and development and health of the mothers of twins. They also enable the collection and reporting of chorionicity and zygosity, vital for twin research and families of twins.
This workshop brings together the major stakeholders in twin birth cohorts: twins advocates, medical researchers, and clinicians. We also welcome researchers seeking to include twins in studies of the early life origins of health and disease and twin researchers wanting to find out more. The aim of this workshops is to:
1.    highlight the work of existing longitudinal twin birth cohorts;
2.    assist in the creation of new twin birth cohorts through shared knowledge and expertise; encourage data and sample harmonisation and analysis;
3.    encourage collaboration between twin pregnancy researchers such as gynaecologists, obstetricians, ultrasonologists and neonatologists, and non-clinical health researchers;
4.    seek opportunities for collaboration and replication; and
5.    seek the input from stakeholders.
We invite representatives to talk about their twin cohorts (~3 minutes each) and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. Details of the speakers will be updated up to the conference.

FRIDAY 12 November

Time zones are CET times.
Workshops - Session 3
Workshop 3A
09:00 – 12:30
ICOMBO – Discussion of future directions for ICOMBO
Hosted by: Monica Rankin
Chairperson, International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations (ICOMBO)
chair@icombo.org

In this session, members will discuss possible research projects, ways to facilitate more sharing of resources and communication, and other topics of interest to members. A review of the Declaration of Rights and Statement of Needs of Twins and Higher Order Multiples will be conducted.
Workshop 3B
09:00 – 12:30
Imaging methodological workshop - Part 1.
Program (pdf)

9:00-9:30am
Basics of imaging methods (X-ray, US, mammography, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine) (Adam and David Tarnoki)

9.30-10:00am
Mammographic analytic methods in twin studies (John Hopper)

10:00-10:30am
Imaging the genetics of brain structure and function (Katrina L Grasby, Sarah E Medland)

10:30-11:00am
Neuroimaging methods in twin studies (Justine Gatt, Dr Haeme Park)

11:00-11:20am
Neural mechanisms for individuality in the brain - fMRI study methods in twins and epigenetics (Shunsuke Toyoda)

11:20-11:50am
fMRI in twin studies & methods used in Peri/postnatal Epigenetic Twin Study (PETS) (Marc Seal)

11:50-12:30:
Discussion with the speakers
Workshop 3C  
09:00 – 12:30
Epigenetics
Co-organisers: Joohon Sung, Namitha Mohandas, Jordana Bell

  • Workshops - Session 4
    Workshop 4A
    13:00 – 16:30
    Twin Systematic Reviews – Part 2.
    Hosted by:  Shayesteh Jahanfar, David Haas, Donald O'Mathuna, Isha Taneja, Tiffany Duque, Joel Gagnier

    This workshop is a continuation of the workshop held on Thursday afternoon.

    1:00-1:30pm                  
    Small group activity: Appraising the risk of bias in a trial  (Four facilitators; each group will have 5 participants and one facilitator)

    1:30-2:10pm       
    Analysing dichotomous outcomes - Joel Gagnier

    2:10-2:50 pm                 
    Analysing continuous outcomes- Joel Gagnier

    2:50-3:30pm       
    Introduction to meta-analysis-Shayesteh Jahanfar

    3:30-4:00 pm                  
    Introduction to Revman and forest plot-Shayesteh Jahanfar

    4:00-4:30pm                   
    Heterogeneity¬-Donal O’Mathuna
    Workshop 4B
    13:00 – 16:30
    Imaging methodological workshop - Part 2.
    Program (pdf)

    13:00-13:30pm
    Novel ultrasound imaging methods (elastography, stiffness, IMT, plaque etc) in twin studies (Anita Hernyes)

    13:30-14:00pm
    Available radiomics softwares (brain volume measurement, WMH, Whole Brain etc) (Bianka Forgo)

    14:00-14:20pm
    3D reconstruction of cerebral vessels (Laszlo Szalontai)

    14:20-14:40pm
    DTI methods and other novel neuroimaging methods (Ádám Szabó)

    14:40-15:10pm
    The Heritability of Cortical Folding: Measurement methods and experiences from the Human Connectome Project (J Eric Schmitt/Mike Neale)
     
    15:10-16:00pm
    Discussion with the speakers

  • Conference Opening Session
    19:00 – 19:10 Opening remarks
    Professor Jeffrey Craig, Dr Asma Khalil, Dr. Ádám & Dávid Tárnoki
    19:10 – 20:00 Keynote: L Scott Forbes, PhD “The Evolutionary Biology of Twinning in Humans”
    Introduction: Nancy L Segal, PhD
    20:00 – 20:45 BOOK PANEL
    summary (pdf)

    Discussion: Five recent and forthcoming books on twins – Live discussion and

    Q & A with the authors and editors
    Co-chairs: Nancy L Segal, PhD & Professor Jeffrey Craig

    Twin Studies in Behavioral and Health Research: Current Status, Prospects and Applications, São Paulo, Brazil: Digital book in open access: USP Open Books Portal, 2021
    Tania Kiehl Lucci PhD, E. Otta and T.K. Lucci (Eds.):
    University of São Paulo, Brazil

    Why Are Monozygotic Twins Different: From Genetics to Environment London: Elsevier. A. Matias, & I. Blickstein (Eds.)
    Alexandra Matias, MD, PhD
    University of Porto, Portugal

    Deliberately Divided: Inside the Controversial Study of Twins and Triplets Adopted Apart, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021
    Nancy L. Segal, PhD
    California State University, Fullerton, USA

    Twin Research: The Complete Reader, New York, NY: Elsevier (in press).
    Tarnoki, A.D. Tarnoki, D.L., Harris, J., & Segal, N.L. (Eds.)
    David L. Tarnoki, MD, PhD:   
    Semmelweis University, Hungary

    Twins - Superstitions and Marvels, Fantasies and Experiments, Reaktion Books, London, 2021.
    William Viney, PhD
    Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • SATURDAY 13 November

  • Time zones are CET times.
  • 09:00-10:30 Session 1

    COVID-19
    Co-chairs: John  Hopper, Catherine Bennett
    11:00 – 12:30 Session  2

    Longitudinal twin birth cohorts
    Co-chairs: Jeff Craig, Sonia Brescianini

    This session will include talks about longitudinal twin registries from around the world, including those studying the early life origins of health and disease. 

    Co-Chairs:
    Jeffrey Craig, PhD
    The Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT), Deakin University, Australia

    Sonia Brescianini, PhD
    Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy


    Speakers
    1. Esmee Bijnens, PhD
    Department of Human Structure and Repair, University of Gent, Belgium

    2. Richard Saffery, PhD
    Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
    Building a twin pregnancy cohort in China for longitudinal biological studies

    3. Elisabete Ramos, PhD
    Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP), Portugal
    Bitwin cohort - the first Portuguese birth cohort of twins

    4. TBA
    13:00 – 14:30
    Session  3

    Bulmer session: The Biology of Twinning
    Co-chairs: Nils Lambalk, Catherine Derom

    Description
    This symposium deals with the biology and genetics of the twinning phenomenon and is named after Michael Bulmer, who wrote in 1970 this fascinating book “the Biology of Twinning in Man”. This session deals with every aspects of twinning from the frequency of twinning in humans, the genetics of DZ and MZ twinning,  the development of the human embryo and how normal embryogenesis takes place...

    Co-Chairs:
    Prof Cornelis Lambalk, MD PhD
    Division of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam

    Catherine Derom, PhD
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ghent University Hospitals, Ghent, Belgium

    Speakers
    1. Jenny van Dongen, PhD (online)
    Identical twins carry a persistent epigenetic signature of early genome programming

    2. Hamdi Mbarek, PhD
    The Netherlands
    Update on the genetics of DZ twinning

    3. Prof. Anja Pinborg, MD, DMSc (online)
    Determinants of MZ twinning in ART
    Copenhagen University Hospital

    4. Brandon Johnson, PhD candidate (online)
    Study of twin pedigrees to investigate mechanisms of male microchimerism in females

    5. To be selected from abstracts
    15:00 – 16:30 Session  4

    Twin Studies: Psychological, Biological and Social Perspectives
    summary (pdf)

    Co-Chairs: Nancy L. Segal, PhD
    Department of Psychology, California State University-Fullerton

    Maria Antoinetta Stazi, PhD
    Center for Behavioural Science and Mental Health, Rome

    This panel draws together a diverse group of speakers whose presentations are set within a variety of theoretical frameworks. The different topics to be addressed cover a range of behaviors, issues and controversies within the field of psychology, e.g., behavioral genetics, evolutionary psychology, social psychology and other approaches. An underlying theme is that twins can be used to study and inform virtually every measurable behavioral trait.

    Twin Tempos: Cross-Correlations of Young Twins’ Social and Emotional Skills
    Lisabeth A. DiLalla, PhD
    Department of Psychology, University of Southern Illinois

    Triangulating Genetic Methods to Uncover the Contribution of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills to Academic Achievement Throughout the School Years
    Margherita Malanchini, PhD
    School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University

    Three winship Myths: Setting the Record Straight
    Joan A. Friedman, PhD
    Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles

    Narrowing in on What Really Matters: Testing Criminological Theory Using Twin-Based Methodology"
    Joseph L. Nedelec, PhD:
    School of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati

    Exceptional Sibships and Curious Couples: General Intelligence Findings From Chinese Twins Reared Apart and Together and Virtual Twins
    Nancy L. Segal, PhD
    Department of Psychology, California State University-Fullerton

    19:00 – 19:45 





    20:00 – 20:45
    Session 5
    Discussion: Participant engagement and user involvement in twin research
    Co-chairs: Carolyn Lister & Petra Zwijnenburg 


    Discussion: Controversial topic(s) in twin research
    Co-chairs: Professor Asma Khalil & Mark Kilby

SUNDAY 14 November

Time zones are CET times.
09:00-10:30 Session 6

New twin registries and studies
Co-chairs: Yoon-Mi Hur & Bianka Forgo

Session information (pdf)

This panel aims to present newly established twin registries from across the world. Research aims, methods and recent results from emerging twin registries will be discussed.

Major changes and developments in the Hungarian Twin Registry website related to the conversion from a voluntary to a population-based registry
Marton Piroska, Hungary

Isfahan Twin Registry
Professor Nizal Sarrafzadegan

TwinLIFE4
Professor Bas Heijmans

University of Sao Paulo Twin Panel
Professor Emma Otta
11:00 – 12:30 Session 7
   
Clinical trials
Co-chairs: Petra Zwijnenburg, Athula Sumathipala

Co-chairs:
Petra Zwijnenburg, MD, PhD
clinical geneticist, pediatrician, Dept Human Genetics, Amsterdam University Medical Center,  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Athula Sumathipala
Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences,Keele University, Staffordshire, UK

This session provides a selection of clinical trials in twins. The session demonstrates that the potential power of twins in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has been proven and illustrates that twins can strongly contribute to RCTs, ranging from n=1 studies to large sample sizes.
The presentations will address studies in Twin Anemia Polycythemia Sequence (TAPS), 

Presentations:

Tau-PET imaging in cognitively normal elderly subject: a twin approach
Anouk den Braber, PhD
Alzheimer Center Amsterdam & Netherlands Twin Register, Amsterdam University Medical Center, VU university, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

TAPS trial
Enrico Lopriore, MD PhD
Dept. of Pediatrics, Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands

FEASST (Food intake and Epigenetic Alteration in Spermatozoa of Singletons and Twins) Study
Jessica Preston
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences,  University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The value of twins in n=1 trials in (ultra)rare diseases
Petra Zwijnenburg

To be confirmed/ To be selected from abstracts
13:00 – 14:30
Session 8

Cognition & neurodevelopmental disorders
Co-chairs: Jaakko Kaprio & Ida Karlsson

Program (pdf)


Description
This session provides a selection of studies across the life course, from childhood to late-life, within the broad field of cognition and neurodevelopmental disorders. The presentations will address aggression, cognitive abilities, and dementia, as well as the unique methodological opportunities gained from studying twin cohorts.

Co-Chairs:
Jaakko Kaprio, MD, PhD
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, Finland
 
Ida Karlsson, PhD
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Speakers
1. Camiel M. van der Laan, MSc
Continuity of genetic risk for aggression across the life-course
Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2. Laura Ekstrøm Løkkegaard, MD
Postmenopausal hormone therapy and dementia
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

3. Malin Ericsson, PhD
Educational influences on cognitive aging: Exploring unequal opportunities through genetic propensities and societal change
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

4. Eero Vuoksimaa, PhD
NONAGINTA study – cognition in 90-year-old twins
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

5. To be selected from abstracts
15:00 – 16:30
Session 9

9A
Chronic Diseases and Cancer
Co-chairs: Wendy Cozen & Joohon Sung
15:00 – 16:00 9B
ICOMBO Business Meeting
Chair: Monica Rankin


19:00 – 19:45


19:45 – 20:00


20:00 – 20:15
Session 10

ISTS AGM & Elections
Professor Jeffrey Craig, Professor Asma Khalil

Prizegiving
Professor Asma Khalil

Closing Remarks
Professor Jeffrey Craig, Dr. Dávid Tárnoki

LOCATION

  • Basic Medical Science Center
    SEMMELWEIS UNIVERSITY

  • Address: H-1094 Budapest, Tűzoltó utca 37-47, Hungary
    Google map

  • How to reach: Subway 3, at Semmelweis Klinikák station