FHS alumnus to establish Twin Registry in Brazil

21 February 2014

Dr Vinicius Oliveira and Dr Paulo Ferreira
Dr Vinicius Oliveira and Dr Paulo Ferreira

Dr Vinicius Oliveira, an FHS alumnus, in collaboration with researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Sydney, The University of Melbourne, and The Federal University in Brazil, has been successful in winning a three-year grant to establish Brazil's first Twin Registry.

Dr Oliveira was a former PhD student in the discipline of Physiotherapy at the Faculty of Health Sciences under the supervision of Dean Kathryn Refshauge and Dr Paulo Ferreira. Dr Ferreira is active in leading international cross-institutional academic partnerships with Brazilian Universities, "this grant consolidates our collaboration with UFMG (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) in Brazil and is a fruitful outcome of our international efforts in South America" said Dr Ferreira.

A twin registry is a database of information about both identical twins and fraternal twins. Each registry facilitates and supports medical and scientific studies, which involve the participation of twins and/or their relatives. These studies build upon the special characteristics of twins to address questions of health and well-being.

"The grant awarded will enable us to establish the first Twin Registry in Brazil. This will open a lot of opportunities for research collaboration, data collection, data harmonisation with other twin registries, and projects to be established in a variety of health areas, including back pain, musculoskeletal pain, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer" said Dr Ferreira.

The Brazilian Twin Registry will join part of the International Network of Twin Registries which includes countries such as Australia, Spain, USA, Denmark, Finland, South Korea and China. Australia's Twin Registry was established in 1981.

"Data from twins can be used to answer important questions on treatment and causes of diseases by considering the effects of genetics" said Dr Ferreira.

"We will recruit a large number of twins to participate in a study looking at risk factors for back pain. These twins will form the platform of the twin registry. When twins enter the study they will complete a full comprehensive health style questionnaire and the data will be stored at the Brazilian Twin Registry. We expect that at the end of three years we will submit high quality manuscripts describing the registry and the findings of the back pain study" said Dr Ferreira.

The grant is valued at A$164,188.22.

Contact: Dr Paulo Ferreira

Phone: 02 9351 9397

Email: 1b19201d366c141c4a1a32201c092c4413082f5c38611401275b1541