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Robert Plomin is MRC Research Professor in Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. In 1994 after positions in the US at the University of Colorado and Pennsylvania State University, he came to the Institute to help Professor Sir Michael Rutter launch the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre. The goal of the Centre is to bring together genetic and environmental strategies to understand individual differences in behavioural development, which characterises his research.  

In 1995, Professor Plomin began the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), which has followed 10,000 pairs of UK twins from infancy through early adulthood and has been continuously funded for 25 years as a programme grant from the Medical Research Council. He has published more than 800 papers and is the author of the best-selling textbook in the field as well as a dozen other books. His most recent book is Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are (Allen Lane, October 2018; paperback by Penguin, June 2019). Blueprint describes how the DNA revolution is transforming science, society and the way we think about ourselves.  

Professor Plomin has been elected the youngest President of the international Behavior Genetics Association and has received lifetime research achievement awards from the major associations related to his field (Behavior Genetics Association, Association of Psychological Science, Society for Research in Child Development, International Society for Intelligence Research), as well as being made Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, British Academy, American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Academy of Medical Sciences (UK).  

Research interests:

  • Quantitative genetic and genomic approaches to disentangle genetic and environmental influences in behavioural development 
  • Cognitive development 
  • Educational achievement  

Research groups:

Director of the Twins Early Development Study

Expertise and Public Engagement:

Professor Robert Plomin uses his expertise outside KCL across various formats, examples include his: