Twins Research Australia Director John Hopper

Coronavirus Coronavirus

Researchers are mobilising twins across Australia to join a world-first study to rapidly measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Australians and their families.

Called TRACKERR, the Twins Research Australia COVID-19 Knowledge, Experience, Reaction and Resilience study will investigate the pandemic’s short, medium and long-term impacts on Australian families. The study is led by Twin Research Australia based at the University of Melbourne.

Twins Deanne and Rachel Elliott, 33, live in Geelong and Melbourne and have missed seeing each other due to social distancing. Deanne, a teacher, and Rachel, a hospital renal registrar, are both on the front line of COVID-19 efforts.

“My sister and I have been on different sides of the pandemic,” Deanne said. “From the medical side, Rachel has kept up with the global COVID-19 story, reinforcing the need for social distancing and good hand hygiene, while I was teaching my 27 students right up until the Andrews government brought school holidays forward.

“The situation is unprecedented for families, so it will be interesting to see what contributes to our reactions and how we cope.”

According to University of Melbourne Professor John Hopper, Director of Twins Research Australia, the study will deliver powerful insights into both genetic and environmental factors, and how they combine, to affect families’ health and experiences.

Twins can learn more about TRACKERR and register to join Twins Research Australia at

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