Twin and Family Studies of Epigenetics

Twin and Family Studies of Epigenetics

1st Edition - August 19, 2021

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  • Editors: Shuai Li, John Hopper
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128209523
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128209516

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Twin and Family Studies of Epigenetics, Volume 27, the latest release in the Translational Epigenetics series, gathers expert opinions on epigenetic twin and family study research methods, recent findings across various disease areas, and future directions. The book provides in-depth coverage of epigenetics fundamentals, twin and family epigenetic study design, and the broader role of epigenetics in answering questions on the developmental origins of health and disease. Throughout the volume, twin and family studies are employed to examine causes of epigenetic variation, the relationship between epigenetic modifications and mental illness, cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. Emerging research methods applied in twin and family studies discussed include imaging epigenetics, exposure-specific DNA methylation changes, and unravelling time trends in epigenetic effects.

Key Features

  • Offers a practical, interdisciplinary approach across epigenetics, epidemiology and various disease specialties
  • Applies epigenetic twin and family studies to determine the relationship between epigenetics and mental illness, cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, among other diseases and disorders
  • Features chapter contributions from a wide range of international researchers in the field


Human geneticists; human genomicists; translational researchers in genomic medicine, epigenetics, reproductive biology, epidemiology, public health, bioinformatics, and endocrinology; life science researchers; oncologists; obstetricians; pediatricians; immunologists; bioengineers; developmental biologists. Clinicians and graduate students in the biosciences

Table of Contents

  • PART 1 Introduction
    1. Value of twin and family study designs for epigenetic research
    2. Evaluation and measurement of epigenetic modifications in population-based studies

    PART 2 Human health applications
    3. Discordant monozygotic twin studies of epigenetic mechanisms in mental health
    4. DNA methylation and breast cancer risk: value of twin and family studies
    5. Twin and family studies on epigenetics and oral health
    6. Twin and family epigenetic studies of type 2 diabetes
    7. Twin and family studies on epigenetics and obesity
    8. DNA methylation and blood pressure in Chinese adult twins
    9. Twin and family studies on epigenetics of autoimmune diseases
    10. Twin studies on the epigenetics of selected neurological disorders and carotid artery disease
    11. Disease-discordant twin studies of epigenetics and cancer
    12. Sex differences in epigenetic profiles: The value of twin studies

    PART 3 Emerging approach
    13. Combining twin-family designs with measured genetic variants to study the causes of epigenetic variation
    14. Imaging epigenetics and the radiogenomics
    15. DNA methylation changes specific to environmental exposures: The strengths of twin studies using cigarette smoking as an example
    16. Time trends in epigenetic signatures and population health risks
    17. Ambient air pollution and human epigenetic modifications

Product details

  • No. of pages: 374
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2021
  • Published: August 19, 2021
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128209523
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128209516

About the Editors

Shuai Li

Dr Shuai Li has long-term experience in analyzing data from twin and family studies, including the novel epigenomic data. His PhD uses twin and family studies to research DNA methylation. He has published more than 10 papers on epigenetic epidemiological studies, specializing in twin and family designs.

Affiliations and Expertise

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia

John Hopper

Professor John Hopper, AM, was one of the nine inaugural Australia Fellows awarded by NHMRC in 2007 and is currently a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. He is a Professorial Fellow with a PhD in Mathematical Statistics, and is currently Director (Research) of the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Population Global Health at The University of Melbourne. He has published more than 700 papers, specializing in the statistical methodology and its application for analyzing twin and family data, and addressing the genetic and environmental aetiology of diseases and health. He is principal or co-investigator on a number of case-control-family studies across a range of diseases and conditions, particularly breast cancer and colorectal cancer (both funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA)), prostate cancer, melanoma, childhood cancer and asthma. He is a co-investigator on several cohort studies, including Health 2020 and long term follow-up of the 1968 Tasmanian Asthma Study. Professor Hopper has been Director of the Australian Twin Registry (Now is Twins Research Australia) since 1990 and has been awarded a NHMRC CRE grant in Twin Research in 2014.

Affiliations and Expertise

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia

About the Series Editor

Trygve Tollefsbol

Trygve Tollefsbol
Dr. Tollefsbol is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and a Senior Scientist in the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, Integrative Center for Aging Research, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, University Wide Microbiome Center, and the Comprehensive Diabetes Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is Director of the UAB Cell Senescence Culture Facility which he established in 1999. Dr. Tollefsbol trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Research Professor with members of the National Academy of Science at Duke University and the University of North Carolina. He earned doctorates in molecular biology and osteopathic medicine from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center and his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Houston. He has received prior funding from the NCI, NHLBI, NIMH and other federal institutes as well as the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) among many other sources.

Affiliations and Expertise

Distinguished Professor of Biology Senior Scientist, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center Senior Scientist, Integrative Center for Aging Research Senior Scientist, Comprehensive Diabetes Center Senior Scientist, Nutrition Obesity Research Center Senior Scientist, University Wide Microbiome Center Director, Cell Senescence Culture Facility University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL, USA

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