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Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology

We investigate the genetic and environmental basis of complex diseases and conditions to understand how genetic variation relates to human health.

Based at King’s St Thomas’ campus, we manage the TwinsUK cohort which was established by Professor Tim Spector in 1992. We now have data on more than 14,000 identical and non-identical twins, making TwinsUK the UK’s largest adult twin registry and the most clinically detailed in the world.

Our Department brings together 60 clinical researchers with experts in genetics and state-of-the-art omics technologies (whole genome sequencing, metabolomics, glycomics, nutriomics, transcriptomics, microbiome and epigenomics).

Our international collaborations have led to over 800 publications. Major successes include identifying the genes behind some of the most common and often fatal conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, fractures and osteoarthritis.

Our latest news

Our research groups

Current research includes the genetics of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, the musculoskeletal system, ageing, sight and how the microbiome affects our health.

twins portraits

Looking to collaborate?

We aim to facilitate and encourage the sharing of TwinsUK data and samples with the world’s scientific community to promote and contribute to scientific research and generate new knowledge.

Visit the TwinsUK site to find out more 

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14,274 twins

76 studies

Over 800 publications

60 researchers