With their similar genetic makeup, twins represent an ideal opportunity to study health and behavior issues. For the National Institutes of Health and other clients, researchers at SRI’s Center for Health Sciences conduct twin research studies such as the pharmacokinetics of nicotine, the metabolism of commonly used medications, genetic susceptibility to cancer-causing chemicals, and sleep patterns in young twins.
SRI’s twin research has confirmed the link between genetics and nicotine and alcohol addictions, and also has showed a link between cardiovascular risk factors and brain function in old age.
SRI established its Twin Research Registry in 1995. It is the only such registry in northern California, and one of only about eight established in the United States. The continually growing and diverse group includes more than 3,000 members who volunteer to participate in SRI studies. Fraternal and identical twins and multiples of all ages are invited to join the Registry.