FINAL 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.


Launch of new book from Finnish Multiple Birth Association
Ulla Kumpula, Executive Director, Suomen Monikkoperheet

Online conferences - experiences of Multiple Births Canada
Frances Keech, Office Manager, MBC

Review of Declaration of Rights and Statement of Needs of Twins and Higher Order Multiples
Monica Rankin
Chair, ICOMBO

Recent research projects of ICOMBO
Dr Carolyn Lister PhD
Vice Chair & Research Director, ICOMBO
Multiples New Zealand
Workshop 1B
09:00 – 12:30
Twin Statistics – Part 1

More than heritability: Diverse designs, outcomes and statistical approaches for data from twins – Part 1  (to be continued in Workshop 2B)

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.

Session 1: First touch data analysis
Dr Katrina Scurrah, PhD BMath(Hons)
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia

In this session we will review reasons researchers study twins and the types of research questions that can be addressed using twin designs.  We will also provide a brief overview of good practice in data collection and management, the basics of data exploration and statistical inference, and summarise the variety of study designs available.


Session 2: Matched twin pair studies: design and analysis
Katrina Scurrah PhD BMath (Hons), Australia and Prof Jacob B Hjelmborg, PhD, Denmark

The focus of this session will be on matched designs, for binary and continuous outcomes and exposures.  Time to event data will also be introduced and simple models for this data type will be described. Usage and guidelines for application of this design will be discussed.
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

Professor Yoon-Mi Hur, PhD
College of General Education
Director, Kookmin Twin Research Institute
Kookmin University, Seoul, 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

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

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



9:50
Questions and discussion

10:00
SHORT BREAK

10:10
Extended twin studies and trans-generational studies

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

Associate Professor Nathan A 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

Michael C. Neale, PhD
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

Prof. Dr. Dorret I Boomsma
Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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

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

Chairs: Prof. Chika Honda, Ass. prof. David Tarnoki

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

10.30-11.00
Microbiome analysis in twins: experiences, practical issues and statistical insights from the TwinsUK cohor
Andrei-Florin Baleanu
Dr. Ruth Bowye
Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College, London, UK

11.00-11.30
Microbiome twin research in Japan
Dr. Rie Tomizawa
Osaka University Twin Registry, Osaka University, Japan

11.30-12.00
Microbiome research: Hungarian experiences
Dr. Helga Szabo
Department of Medical Imaging, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary)

12.00-12.30
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.


13:00-13:40    
Introduction & How to write a Cochrane review
Shayesteh Jahanfar, PhD
Associate Professor, of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine
Director of Tufts University, Affiliate of Cochrane US
Co-director of Cochrane Pregnancy Childbirth US Satellite

13:45-14:20     
Steps in writing a protocol
David Haas, MD, MS
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Co-director of Cochrane Pregnancy Childbirth US Satellite

14:20 -15:00                
Defining a review question
Tiffany Duque
Cochrane US Network Senior Officer

15:00- 15:40
Small group activity – Defining a review question for your review  (Four facilitators, each group will have 5 participants and one facilitator)

15:40- 15:55               
Introducing screening software-Covidence
Isha Taneja MBBS, MPH
Cochrane Fellow, Tufts University, Affiliate of Cochrane US

15:55- 16:30       
Assessing risk of bias
Donal O’Mathuna, BSc (Pharm), MA, PhD
Associate Professor,
College of Nursing, The Ohio State University


This workshop will be continued in Workshop Session 4A, Friday.
Workshop 2B   
13:00 – 16:30
Twin Statistics – Part 2
More than heritability: Diverse designs, outcomes and statistical approaches for data from twins – Part 2    (continuation of Workshop 1B)

Co-organisers: Jacob Hjelmborg, Katrina Scurrah, Márton Piroska, (Levi Littvay, Instructor)

This is a continuation of Workshop 1B.

Session 3: Time to event analysis of data from twins
Prof Jacob B Hjelmborg, PhD
Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark
jhjelmborg@health.sdu.dk

This session will illustrate extension of the methods for survival time data described in the previous session to allow for twin data, and how such models can be used to assess causation.

Session 4: Contributed studies - what can we learn?
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.

Speakers:

The Peri/postnatal Epigenetic Twin Study (PETS)
Jeffrey Craig, PhD
The Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT),
Deakin University, Australia

Babytwins Study Sweden (BATSS)
Ana Maria Vaz Portugal Da Silva
Centre for Psychiatry Research, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm Health Care Services,
Stockholm, Sweden

The East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS)
Eline Meireson
Department of Human Structure and Repair, University of Gent, Belgium

TwinLife
Sophie Groene
Leiden University Medical CenterLeiden, The Netherlands

Gemini
Moritz Herle, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College, London

TWOBIOME
Jordana Bell
Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King's College, London
19:00-20:00 ISTS BOARD MEETING
For members of ISTS Board
CANCELLED

FRIDAY 12 November

Time zones are CET times.
Workshops - Session 3
Workshop 3A
09:00 – 12:30
ICOMBO – 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.

ICOMBO Strategic Plan 2021 – 2023
Monica Rankin
Chair, ICOMBO

ICOMBO Research and activities 2022/2023
Dr Carolyn Lister PhD
Vice Chair & Research Director, ICOMBO

Presentation of New Education Resource - www.twineducation.org
John Mascazine PhD
Prof. Dr. Pat Preedy 
Workshop 3B
09:00 – 12:30
Imaging methodological workshop - Part 1.
Program (pdf)

9:00-9:30
Basics of imaging methods (X-ray, US, mammography, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine) A/Prof. Adam Domonkos Tarnoki, MD, PhD &  A/Prof. David Laszlo Tarnoki, MD, PhD
Medical Imaging Centre, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary


9.30-10:00
Mammographic analytic methods in twin studies John Hopper, AM
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Melbourne School of Population & Global Health
University of Melbourne, Australia


10:00-10:30
Imaging the genetics of brain structure and function
Katrina L Grasby, Sarah E Medland
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia

10:30-11:00
Neuroimaging methods in twin studies
Justine Gatt
Dr. Haeme Park
Gatt Resilience Group, Neuroscience Research Australia,
School of Psychology, UNSW, Australia


11:00-11:20
Neural mechanisms for individuality in the brain - fMRI study methods in twins and epigenetics
Shunsuke Toyoda
Center for Twin Research, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University


11:20-11:50
fMRI in twin studies & methods used in Peri/postnatal Epigenetic Twin Study (PETS)
Marc Seal
Group Leader, Developmental Imaging, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Principal Research Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne
Murdoch Children's Research Institute,
The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

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

This workshop will provide some general information regarding epigenetics studies, and some examples of epigenetic studies in twins

Speakers:

Value of lifespan approach in twin and family studies of epigenetics
Dr Shuai Li
Victorian Cancer Agency Early Career Research Fellow & Senior Research Fellow
University of Melbourne, Australia

Epigenetic profiles in monozygotic twins
Jenny van Dongen, PhD
Assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, department of Biological Psychology, The Netherlands

DNA methylation heritability and methylation QTLs
Sergio Villicaña
King’s College, London

DNA methylation studies of type 2 diabetes
Colette Christiansen
King’s College, London

Mendelian randomisation and methylation QTLs to gain insight into the DNA methylation profiles of type 2 diabetes and its kidney complications
Johoon Sung, MD, MPH, PhD
Genome and Health Big Data Lab, School of Public Health, Seoul National University,
Seoul, Korea

Live Q & A with speaker panel and organisers

  • Workshops - Session 4
    Workshop 4A
    13:00 – 16:30
    Twin Systematic Reviews – Part 2. (continuation of Workshop 2A)
    Co-Chairs:  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.

    13:00-13:30               
    Small group activity: Appraising the risk of bias in a trial  (Four facilitators; each group will have 5 participants and one facilitator)

    13:30-14:10       
    Analysing dichotomous outcomes
    Joel Gagnier, PhD
    Professor University of Michigan
    Member of Cochrane Method Group

    14:10-14:50                  
    Analysing continuous outcomes
    Joel Gagnier, PhD
    Professor University of Michigan
    Member of Cochrane Method Group

    14:50-15:30       
    Introduction to meta-analysis
    Shayesteh Jahanfar, PhD
    Associate Professor, of Public Health and Community Medicine
    Tufts University School of Medicine
    Director of Tufts University, Affiliate of Cochrane US
    Co-director of Cochrane Pregnancy Childbirth US Satellite

    15:30-16:00                  
    Introduction to Revman and forest plot
    Shayesteh Jahanfar, PhD
    Associate Professor, of Public Health and Community Medicine
    Tufts University School of Medicine
    Director of Tufts University, Affiliate of Cochrane US
    Co-director of Cochrane Pregnancy Childbirth US Satellite

    16:00-16:30                   
    Heterogeneity
    Donal O’Mathuna, BSc (Pharm), MA, PhD
    Associate Professor, College of Nursing, The Ohio State University
    Workshop 4B
    13:00 – 16:30
    Imaging methodological workshop - Part 2. (continuation of Workshop 3B)
    Program (pdf)

    13:00-13:30
    Novel ultrasound imaging methods (elastography, stiffness, IMT, plaque etc) in twin studies
    Anita Hernyes, MD
    Medical Imaging Centre, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

    13:30-14:00
    Available radiomics softwares (brain volume measurement, WMH, Whole Brain etc)
    Bianka Forgo MD, PhD
    Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden

    14:00-14:20
    3D reconstruction of cerebral vessels
    Laszlo Szalontai, MD
    Medical Imaging Centre, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
    National Institute of Oncology,  Budapest, Hungary

    14:20-14:40
    DTI methods and other novel neuroimaging methods
    Lajos Kozák MD, PhD
    Ádám Békéssy-Szabó MD
    Medical Imaging Centre, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

    14:40-15:10
    The Heritability of Cortical Folding: Measurement methods and experiences from the Human Connectome Project
    J. Eric Schmitt MD, PhD
    University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Philadelphia, PA, USA
     
    and

    Michael C. Neale, PhD
    Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA


    15:10-16:00
    Discussion with the speakers

  • Conference Opening Session
    19:00 – 19:10 Opening remarks
    Professor Jeffrey Craig, Dr Asma Khalil, Dr. Ádám & Dávid Tárnoki, other speeches and entertainment
    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 for Everyone: From Biology to Health, Epigenetics, and Psychology, New York, NY: Elsevier (in press). Tarnoki, A.D. Tarnoki, D.L., Harris, J.R., & Segal, N.L. (Eds.)
    David L. Tarnoki, MD, PhD:   
    Semmelweis University, Hungary
    Flyer of the book (Elsevier)

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

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

    COVID-19
    Co-chairs: John  Hopper, Catherine Bennett

    9:00-9:15
    Gene-by-crisis interaction for optimism and meaning in life: the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Lianne de Vries
    Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam , The Netherlands

    9:15-9:30
    Genetic and environmental influences on Quality of Life and Self-Rated Health: the COVID-19 pandemic as a natural experiment

    Margot van de Weijer
    Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

    9:30-9:45
    Twins Research Australia COVD-19 Knowledge, Experience, Reaction and Resilience Study (TRACKERR)

    Dr Lucas Calais Ferreira
    Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics & Justice Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
    Twins Research Australia

    9:45-10:00
    Covid-19 and TwinsUK: Becoming a national core study
    Dr. Claire Steves
    Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, Kings College, London

    10:00-10:05
    Stress, anxiety, and change in alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings among adult twin pairs
    Glenn Duncan, PhD, RCEP
    Professor & Chair, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
    Director, Washington State Twin Registry, Seattle, USA


    10:05-10:15
    Is COVID-19 keeping us up at night? Stress, anxiety, and sleep among adult twins

    Glenn Duncan, PhD, RCEP
    Professor & Chair, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
    Director, Washington State Twin Registry, Seattle, USA

    10:15-10:30
    Mental health impact of Covid-19: a longitudinal study on Italian twins
    Emanuela Medda
    Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
    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


    Program:

    11:00-11:15
    Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with placental biomarkers of ageing
    Esmee Bijnens, PhD
    Department of Human Structure and Repair, University of Gent, Belgium

    11:15-11:30
    Building a twin pregnancy cohort in China for longitudinal biological studies
    Professor Richard Saffery, PhD
    Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia

    11:30-11:45
    Bitwin cohort - the first Portuguese birth cohort of twins
    Elisabete Ramos, PhD
    Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP), Portugal

    11:45-12:00
    The Multiple Birth Cohort Study: a birth cohort within the Italian Twin Registry

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

    12:00-12:15
    Prevalence of twinning - mother’s age and fertility
    Andras Pari JD
    University of Pecs (PTE), Doctoral School of Demography and Sociology
    Pazmany Peter Catholic University (PPKE), Institute of Sociology
    The Maria Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS), Bureau for Research

    12:15 – 12:30 Short talks

    Utilizing birthweight discordant monozygotic twins to investigate the effect of the in vivo early embryonic environment on DNA methylation
    Rebekka Koeck
    Maastricht University & Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands

    Peri/postnatal epigenetic twins study (PETS) cohort: Double-one years
    Jane Loke
    Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
    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. dr. Cornelis (Nils) 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

    Program:

    13:00-13:15
    Identical twins carry a persistent epigenetic signature of early genome programming

    Jenny van Dongen, PhD
    Assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, department of Biological Psychology, The Netherlands

    13:15-13:30
    Update on the genetics of DZ twinning
    Hamdi Mbarek, PhD
    Qatar Genome Program, Qatar Foundation Research Development & Innovation Research, Doha, Qatar
    Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Amsterdam Reproduction and Development (AR&D) Research Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    13:30-13:45
    Study of twin pedigrees to investigate mechanisms of male microchimerism in females
    Brandon Johnson, PhD candidate
    Avera Institute for Human Genetics, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, Sioux Falls, SD, USA
    Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    13:45-14:00
    Determinants of MZ twinning in ART
    Professor Anja Pinborg, MD, DMSc
    Fertility Department, section 4071 Rigshospitalet Copenhagen University Hospital,
    Copenhagen, Denmark

    14:00-14:15
    Tracing human twinning process using somatic mutations
    Christopher J Yoon
    Washing University School of Medicine, St Louis MO, USA

    14:15-14:30 Short talk
    A transcriptomic-wide association study of spontaneous dizogytic twinning and its relation to the fertility trait number
    Nikki Hubers
    Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    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.

    15:00-15:15
    Twin Tempos: Cross-Correlations of Young Twins’ Social and Emotional Skills

    Lisabeth A. DiLalla, PhD
    Department of Psychology, University of Southern Illinois

    15:15-15:30
    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

    15:30-15:45
    Three Twinship Myths: Setting the Record Straight
    Joan A. Friedman, PhD
    Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles

    15:45-16:00
    Narrowing in on What Really Matters: Testing Criminological Theory Using Twin-Based Methodology"
    Joseph L. Nedelec, PhD:
    School of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati

    16:00-16:15
    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

    16:15-16:30 Short talks

    The association between saving disposition and financial distress: a genetically informed approach
    Alexandros Giannelis
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

    Genetic covariances underlying associations between Mathematics, Reading and working memory
    Zhixin Zhu
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA

    Treating twins as a couple in parental communication
    Rita Hegedüs
    Corvinus University of Budapest
    Zsofia Drjenovszky
    Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary

    Heritability of sleep quality across the adult age span. Analysis in two Mediterranean samples
    Juan J Madrid-Valero
    University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain & University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

    Gene-environment interplays between family chaos and emotional problems among Nigerian adolescents: A twin study
    Olakunle Oginni
    Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
    18:00 – 19:00 E-POSTER session 1

    The following presenters will be available to discuss their poster talks. The e-posters are uploaded in video files within the e-poster session.

    Etiological and comorbidity factors of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in a non-clinical sample of children and adolescents: A twin study
    Corrado Fagnani
    Centre for Behvioural Sciences and Mental Health, Instituto Seperiore de Sanita, Rome, Italy

    Heritability of iris reflectance quantified in a classic twin study
    Xiaofan Jiang
    Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London

    Heritability of retinal rod and cone-driven responses
    Xiaofan Jiang
    Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London

    Disentangling the impact of genetics and environment on brain functional connections: a 3T resting state fMRI study on young twins
    Emma Tassi
    Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

    The neural bases of social cognitive interference in young twins discordant for psychotic risk
    Cinzia Molent
    Genetics of Cognition laboratory, Neuroscience area, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova,
    Italy
    Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, (Di. Mes) Università degli Studi di Genova, Genova,
    Italy

    Same-sex attraction and psychological distress and risky sexual behaviors: Bidirectional
    causal effects using the Mendelian Randomization-Direction of Causation model
    Olakunle Oginni
    Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

    Influences of Parental Warmth and Discipline on Five-Year-Old Twins' Intrapair Cooperation
    Riley Marshall
    Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA
    19:00 – 19:45 






























    20:00 – 20:45
    Session 5

    19:00-19:45
    Discussion: Participant engagement and user involvement in twin research

    Co-chairs: Carolyn Lister & Petra Zwijnenburg 

    A panel of researchers, study coordinators and parents of twins will discuss some of the challenges in engaging participants for twin studies and the importance of understanding the perspective of participants and users. Topics covered will include survey design, types of approaches, country & cultural differences, the use of online tools for questionnaires, increasing participation (how best to engage with communities) and disseminating research findings. The session will end with a chance for some questions from the audience.

    Panellists:

    Stephanie Ernst-Milner
    Founder of the TAPS Support Foundation & twin Mum

    Natasha Fenwick
    Research and Resources Officer, Twins Trust, UK

    Prof. Gonneke Willemsen
    Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universieit Amsterdam, Amsterdam,
    The Netherlands


    20.00-20:45
    Discussion: Controversial topic(s) in twin research

    Co-chairs: Professor Asma Khalil & Mark Kilby

    DEBATES:
    Zygosity testing should be encouraged for all same sex twins (debate) 

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


    Against:  Dr Richard Brown, MBBS, FRCOG, FACOG
                     Director of the Divisions of Obstetrics, Maternal Fetal Medicine & Ultrasound
                     Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada


    All parents of monochorionic twins should be offered ultrasound screening for twin anemia polycythemia syndrome (Debate).

    For:         Enrico Lopriore, MD PhD
                    Dept. of Pediatrics, Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands

    Against:  Myles Taylor BA(Oxon) PhD FRCOG
                  Centre for Women’s Health,
                   Royal Devon and Exeter NHS    Foundation Trust


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.

9:00-9:15
Major changes and developments in the Hungarian Twin Registry website related to the conversion from a voluntary to a population-based registry

Marton Piroska, MD
Semmelweis University, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Imaging Centre, Budapest, Hungary

9:15-9:30
TwinLIFE4
Professor Bas Heijmans
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

9:30-9:45
University of Sao Paulo Twin Panel
Professor Emma Otta
Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, Brazil

9:45-10:00
Isfahan Twin Registry
Professor Nizal Sarrafzadegan, MD
Distinguished Professor of Medicine/Cardiology
Director of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute
WHO Collaborating Center in the EMR, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences
Affiliate Professor, Faculty of Medicine | School of Population and Public Health,
The University of British Columbia, Canada

10:00-10:15
The Long-term Effects of selective fetal growth restriction in MONochorionic twins: The LEMON study
Sophie Groene
Department of Neonatology, Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands


10:15-10:30 Short talks

Zygosity and sex based cardiometabolic risk factors in Isfahan Twin Registry
Mojgan Gharipour
Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center,
Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Copy effect hypermetropic anisometropia in a pair of monozygotic twins:A Case Report
Fatmer Sumer
Rize Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Rize, Turkey

Global Applied Learning Experience project, a mixed method study protocol
Pooja P. Patel
Shayesteh Jahanfar
Tufts School of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine,
Boston, MA, USA

Comparison of Circle of Willis Variants in Monozygotic and Dizygotic Twins
David Strelnikov
Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Study in Heritability of MRI White Matter Hyperintensities in Twins
Amirreza Alijanpourotaghsara
Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
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
Director - Institute for Research and Development, Sri Lanka
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Keele University


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:

11:00-11:15
Monozygotic twin similarities for AD Biomarkers: The Twin60++ Study
Anouk den Braber, PhD
Alzheimer Center Amsterdam & Netherlands Twin Register, Amsterdam University Medical Center, VU university, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

11:15-11:30
TAPS trial
Enrico Lopriore, MD PhD
Dept. of Pediatrics, Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands

11:30-11:45
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
PhD Student, Barrès Group, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research; University of Copenhagen

11:45-12:00
The value of twins in n=1 trials in (ultra)rare diseases
Petra Zwijnenburg, MD, PhD
Dept Human Genetics, Amsterdam University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

12:00-12:15
Twins and Causal Inference: Leveraging Nature's Experiment
Professor Frühling V Rijsdijk PhD
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
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

13:00-13:15
Continuity of genetic risk for aggression across the life-course
Camiel M. van der Laan, MSc
Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

13:15-13:30
Postmenopausal hormone therapy and dementia
Laura Ekstrøm Løkkegaard, MD
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

13:30-13:45
Educational influences on cognitive aging: Exploring unequal opportunities through genetic propensities and societal change
Malin Ericsson, PhD
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

13:45-14:00
NONAGINTA study – cognition in 90-year-old twins
Eero Vuoksimaa, PhD
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

14:00-14:15
Impaired motor function in children and adolescents with CHD in a direct twin comparison - but young children with CHD better than adolescents
Julia Remmele
German Heart Center Munich, Technical University of Munich,
Department of Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Munich, Germany

Changes in structural brain development after selective fetal growth restriction in monochorionic twins
Sophie Groene
Department of Neonatology, Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
15:00 – 16:30
Session 9A

Chronic Diseases and Cancer
Co-chairs: Wendy Cozen & Joohon Sung

15:00-15:15
The Genetics of Chronic Mental Disorders: Depression
Floris Huider
Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 BT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

15:15-15:30
Phenotypic associations and health outcomes of age-acquited skewed X chromosome inactivitation in humans
Dr Amy Roberts, PhD
Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London

15:30-15:45
Breast cancer and new model of heritability
Professor John Hopper, AM
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Melbourne School of Population & Global Health
University of Melbourne, Australia

15:45-16:00
Biology of cancer survivorship in twins with Hodgkin lymphoma
Professor Wendy Cozen DO, MPH
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine (primary)
Department of Pathology, School of Medicine
Department of Epidemiology, Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California at Irvine

16:00-16:15
Differences in DNA methylation based aging within twin pairs discordant for cancer
Hannes Frederik Bode
Helsinki University, Finland

16:15-16:30 Short talks

Factors associated with care-seeking for low back pain when genetics and the familial environment are considered
Thomas Patterson
Sydney University, Australia

Familial Risk and Heritability of Hematologic Malignancies in the Nordic Twin Study of Cancer
Signe B. Clemmensen
University of Southern Denmark

Determinants of age at menarche: a study in the California Twin Program
Maryam Salehi
University of California, Irvine(UCI), USA

Explorative Study of the Epigenetics of Brain and Central Nervous System Cancers in a Population Based Sample of Twins
Asmus Cosmos Skovgaard
University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark
15:00 – 16:00 Session 9B

ICOMBO Business Meeting
Chair: Monica Rankin

For all ICOMBO members
18:00 – 19:00 E-POSTER session 2

The following presenters will be available to discuss their poster talks. The e-posters are uploaded in video files within the e-poster session.

MZ female’s self- and co-twin assessment: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model
Parshikova Oksana
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Creating Multiple Connections. Exploring experiences of families with twins, triplets or more
Nathalie Turville
Elizabeth Bryan Multiple Births Centre, Birmingham City University, UK

Supporting multiple birth families; establishing an evidence base to inform health visitor
practice
Nathalie Turville
Elizabeth Bryan Multiple Births Centre, Birmingham City University, UK

Strengthening evidence-based multiple birth family nursing care - literature reviews
Kristiina Heinonen
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Health Promotion, Metropolia, Helsinki, Finland

Genetic impacts on DNA methylation help dissect the interplay between genetics, epigenetics
and gene expression
Sergio Villicaña
King’s College, London

The efficacy of cell-free fetal DNA-based non-invasive prenatal testing in twin pregnancies
Maria Butenko
FSBSI “The Research Institute of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductology named after D. O.Ott” of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation
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

James Shields Award for lifetime contributions to twin research

Galton Prize for best student presentation

Gedda Prize for best student poster

ICOMBO Prize for best ECR paper on research of benefit to multiple birth families
to be announced by Monica Rankin, ICOMBO Chairperson


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