ABOUT THE MATR

INTRODUCTION

The Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (MATR) is an organization of twins and their families who are willing to consider taking part in twin-based, health-related research. The MATR welcomes twins of any age, ethnicity, and zygosity (identical or fraternal), as well as higher order multiples such as triplets, quadruplets and quintuplets. Most of the twins registered in the MATR are from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, but twins from all over the country and all around the world are welcome to register with us!

MATR Repository: The MATR also houses a repository containing DNA samples provided by more than one-thousand twins. This repository is a tremendous scientific resource which allows researchers to study the twins’ data collected by studies along with their DNA.

MATR Mission Statement: The mission of the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (MATR) is to promote the mental and physical well-being of all men, women, and children through the support of major health research on twins and their family members. Our goal is to serve as a model for the protection and privacy of participants in human research and as a leader in twin registry-based research.

Please take a minute to look around our website. We hope you enjoy learning more about the MATR. If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact us!

HISTORY OF THE MATR

The origins of the MATR date back to the mid 1970’s, when Drs. Walter Nance and Linda Corey of Virginia Commonwealth University established the Virginia Twin Registry (VTR) by seeking permission from Virginia’s Vital Records Office to access records of twin and higher order multiple births in the state.  Work to extract and enter data on these births occupied the latter part of the 1970s and the early portion of the 1980s.  Health surveys and related materials were first distributed in the 1980s, and a number of observational studies were conducted with twins from the VTR.  In the early 1990s, Lenn Murrelle, then of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later the University of Pittsburgh, began establishing the North Carolina Twin Registry, accessing automated records of multiple births in that state with the permission of the North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources. Dr. Murrelle had developed a collaborative relationship with Dr. Lindon Eaves of VCU, and he joined VCU’s Department of Human Genetics in 1995.  In 1997 the VTR and the NCTR merged into one registry, the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry, or MATR, which was directed by Drs. Linda Corey and Lenn Murrelle.  In 1998, an application to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for access to records of multiple births in that state was approved by South Carolina’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

In 2006 the MATR became part of VCU’s Office of Research, headed by VCU’s Vice President for Research, Dr. Francis Macrina.  The MATR is co-directed by Dr. Judy Silberg, MATR Scientific Director, and Michael Newsome, MATR Financial Director.

MEET THE MATR

The MATR staff is committed to ensuring that our twins have the best possible experience while participating in research projects. Each individual member of the MATR staff works hard to maintain the integrity of the registry.  From protecting the confidentiality rights of our participants to only implementing studies that meet our standards, we strive to provide an environment in which our participants are comfortable with their research experience. The MATR staff work together with our participants to ensure the continued success of the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry in hopes that our research will help improve the health of generations to come.