Crown Princess Mary new patron of Australian Twin Registry
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has become the international patron of the Australian Twin Registry, based at the University of Melbourne, and the Danish Twin Registry, announced in a joint ceremony in Denmark, held in mid-January 2013.
Director of the Australian Twin Registry and University of Melbourne Professor John Hopper said he was extremely grateful for the Crown Princess’s patronage and that as a mother of twins she was a fantastic ambassador for twin research.“We are extremely thrilled about the announcement and hope the Crown Princess’s patronage will raise awareness of the importance of twin research on a range of health issues from cancer, to diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, to osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.
In a message of support to the two registries, the Crown Princess said she was proud to be the international patron of the Australian and Danish twin registries, long established pioneers in twin medical research and world authorities in the field.
“Twins are special, as I now know as the mother of Vincent and Josephine. What is perhaps less well-known is the special contribution twins of all ages have made to medical and health research through the Australian, Danish and other twin registries across the world.
“Twin registries bring twins and researchers together to undertake vital research that is of benefit to everyone. Twin research has contributed to breakthroughs in the understanding of human development and aging including many serious illnesses such as psychiatric diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and birth defects.
“As a parent of twins, I look forward to contributing to awareness of the unique role that twins and their families can play in health research, and to encouraging other families with twins to support this important work.“ Professor Hopper said that through her patronage, the Crown Princess would also recognise the great contribution of nearly 80,000 volunteer twin members – of all ages, identical and non-identical – across Australia who have registered their interest to participate in twin studies.
“Our vital work could not continue without their support,” he said.
“We are the largest voluntary twin register in the world and our twin researchers have made a significant impact in health research since the registry began in 1981,” he said.
More than 450 twin studies have been supported by the ATR over its history across a broad spectrum of medical conditions.
Professor Hopper also thanked key funding and resource supporters, the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council, which has provided core funding since the ATR began in 1981, and the University of Melbourne, where the registry is based.