Epi Soul logo image Epi Soul logo image
  1. UW Home |
  2. SPH  |
  3. Other Departments |
online giving

Epi Seminar Series

backBack to Epi Seminars

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
3:30 pm to 4:50 pm
Health Sciences K-069

"Twin Research: Past, Present and Future"


Jack Goldberg, PhD

Research Professor of Epidemiology

Senior Epidemiologist with the VA Seattle Epidemiology Research and Information Center.


Twin research has long been used by biomedical scientists to better understand the genetic and non-genetic contribution to health and disease. Early twin studies suffered from highly selected and small sample sizes. The development of large twin registries in the United States, such as the Vietnam Era Twin Registry and the UW Twin Registry, has led to a revitalization of twin research. In this talk I present an overview of twin research with an emphasis on methodological developments in both classical and co-twin control studies. Current research using twins from both the VET Registry and UW Twin Registry are examining gene by environment interaction and the role of epigenetics in disease development. The future of twin research will be to link twin registries from across the globe to parse the international genetic and environmental variation in health and disease.

About the Speaker:

Jack Goldberg is a Research Professor in the UW Epidemiology Department and a Senior Epidemiologist with the VA Seattle Epidemiology Research and Information Center. He has worked for 30 years to foster the development and use of twin registries. In the 1980’s, he co-created the Vietnam Era Twin (VET) Registry within the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program. He went on to collaborate in the development of twin registries of special populations including the disease-specific Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Twin Registry and the population-based Black Elderly Twin Study. More recently, heI helped develop the University of Washington Twin Registry, which now contains nearly 10,000 twin pairs. He also serves as co-Chair of VA Cooperative Studies Program Study #569: A Twin Study of the Course and Consequences of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Vietnam Era Veterans. This is a 20 year follow-up of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Vietnam-era Veterans. For entertainment, he teach introduction to epidemiology to several hundred undergraduates each year at UW.


Tsai M, Mori AM, Forsberg CW, Waiss N, Sporleder JL, Smith NL, Goldberg J. The Vietnam Era Twin Registry: a quarter century of progress. Twin Research and Human Genetics 2013;16:429-36.

Strachan E, Hunt C, Afari N, Duncan G, Noonan C, Schur E, Watson N, Goldberg J, Buchwald D. The University of Washington Twin Registry: poised for the next generation of twin research. Twin Research and Human Genetics 2013;16:455-62.

Updated on December 26, 2013