Double Take: Twins in Genetics and Fertility Treatment

Progress Educational Trust
Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH
4 December 2013 9.30am-5pm
The 2013 annual conference of the Progress Educational Trust (PET) focused on twins, multiple pregnancies and multiple births in relation to genetics, fertility treatment and early development.
Why are twins so fascinating? From Jacob and Esau to Jedward, science and society have regarded twins as special - usually in a good way. Now, because of the increase in multiple births following assisted conception, twins are viewed by some as dangerous and problematic.
This conference included discussion of the biology of twins, the usefulness of twin studies, the issue of multiple births resulting from fertility treatment, and the implications of the HFEA's single embryo transfer policy and 10% target for multiple births.
The conference was supported by Merck (gold sponsor), the London Women's Clinic (silver sponsor) and Ferring Pharmaceuticals and the Medical Research Council (bronze sponsors).

Welcome Address
Sarah Norcross (Director of PET)

What Do We Know about Twins?
Chair: Professor John Galloway (Trustee at PET, and Expert Adviser to the Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre)
Chorionicity and Zygosity: Why Do We Still Get It Wrong?
George Attilakos (Consultant in Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics and Lead Clinician for the Maternal-Fetal Assessment Unit at University College Hospital)
Twinning Causes Discordant Heart Malformation
Sir John Burn (Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University's Institute of Genetic Medicine, and Medical Director of QuantuMDx)
Identical or Not? Why and How Identical Twins Can Be Different and Non-Identical Twins Similar
Dr Jane Hurst (Lead Clinician and Consultant in Clinical Genetics at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Clinical Lead for the North East Thames Regional Genetics Service)

What Can We Learn from Twins?
Chair: Sir John Burn (Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University's Institute of Genetic Medicine)
Identically Different: Twins and Epigenetics
Dr Jordana Bell (Senior Lecturer at King's College London's Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology)
Twin Research: A Two-Edged Sword
Marcus Pembrey (Founding Chair of Trustees at PET, and Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Genetics at University College London's Institute of Child Health)
MZ, DZ and DNA
Robert Plomin (Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, a multidisciplinary partnership between the Medical Research Council and King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry)

Multiple Choice Question
Chair: Jane Denton (Director of the Multiple Births Foundation)
Multiple Dilemmas: The Implications of Prenatal Diagnosis in Twin Pregnancies
Jane Fisher (Director of Antenatal Results and Choices)
'What I Wanted Was to Have One More Put Back than You Can Here': Decisionmaking About Embryo Transfer in Cross-Border Fertility Treatment
Dr Nicky Hudson (Senior Research Fellow and Leader of the Reproduction Research Group at De Montfort University)
IVF Twins: Fulfilling Dreams or Turning Them into a Nightmare?
Dr Yacoub Khalaf (Director and Person Responsible of Guy's Hospital's Assisted Conception Unit, and Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at King's College London)

Single Embryo Transfer Policy
Chair: John Parsons (Trustee at PET, and Founder of King's College Hospital's Assisted Conception Unit)
UK eSET: An Effective Policy Putting Patients First
Rachel Cutting (Chair of the Association of Clinical Embryologists, and Principal Embryologist and Person Responsible at Royal Hallamshire Hospital's Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility)
Still One at a Time
Nick Jones (Director of Compliance at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority)
'Orthodoxy Is Unconsciousness': Challenging Regulatory Overreach
James Lawford Davies (Chair of PET's Advisory Committee, and Partner at Lawford Davies Denoon)
SET in Stone?
Mohamed Taranissi (Founder and Medical Director of the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre)

Gold sponsor:
Silver sponsor:
Bronze sponsors: