IBD Nixon Twin and Multiplex RegistryIBD Nixon Twin and Multiplex Registry

Current Projects


    The IBD Nixon TAM Registry is now recruiting for our first research study, THE STUDY OF NON GENETIC FACTORS IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF IBD IN TWINS. Taking part involves a single donation of blood, stool and urine – if you and your twin are able to participate we would be delighted to hear from you!

    What is the purpose of this study?

    Twin studies help untangle the relative impact of genes and the environment on disease development. This study focuses on two key areas of research – epigenetics and the intestinal microbiota. Epigenetics is the study of the changes to the packaging and regulation of our DNA which occurs throughout our lives. The intestinal microbiota is the ecosystem of bacteria within our gut. It is hoped that this research will help us better explain why some people develop IBD whereas others do not.

    Twins with IBD are unique and precious – we need your help for this research to succeed!

    Who can take part?

    The following people can take part:

    • Identical twins and non identical twins
    • Either one or both twin diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis
    • Over 18s

    What does taking part involve?

    Taking part involves donating a sample of blood, urine and stool. We will collect samples from you at home in a single visit.

    Taking part in the Study:

    If you are interested in taking part please click here or email william.blad@nhs.net for further details.


    We are developing a twin and multiplex repository within the Imperial Hepatology and Gastroenterology Biobank.

    The biobank is a facility where frozen samples are stored for use in future research. This enables samples collected today to be analysed with technology of tomorrow. Perhaps most importantly in a unique cohort such as twins with IBD, it limits the need for taking more samples as science and medicine evolve.

    We will begin to store samples for the biobank as we conduct the study of non genetic factors in the pathogenesis of IBD in twins. It is normal to collect extra “back up” samples when conducting a research study. This is so that if any samples are damaged during processing, a spare can be used without having to collect the sample again. However in most cases the spare samples are not used. Instead of discarding samples, un-used samples of stool, urine and blood (including samples for DNA and RNA analysis) will be transferred into the biobank for future research.

    It is envisaged that these samples will become a lasting research resource which doctors and scientists will be able to use for years to come.

    The repository within the biobank has been designed to run in conjunction with the IBD Nixon Twin and Mutliplex Registry. Samples will be pseudo-anonymysed – they will stored anonymously but will have a code which can be linked to the registry. This is so relevant information about disease history and lifestyle can be correlated with results of future studies. Personal information such as name and contact details will never be released to researchers using the biobank.