Professor Nick Martin graduated with honours in Genetics from the University of Adelaide in 1972 and obtained his PhD in genetics at the University of Birmingham. In 1978 he returned to a Research Fellowship at the Australian National University where he founded the Australian Twin Registry. After 3 years in the US he returned in 1986 to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research where he heads the Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory and continues longitudinal studies with twins of a wide range of complex traits of medical and behavioural interest. He also is involved in several large studies of cognition and brain imaging (EEG and MRI). His research over recent years has moved to genome wide association studies (GWAS) to locate genes influencing complex traits including anxiety, alcoholism, and dizygotic twinning. He developed methods for multivariate analyses and the analysis of gene-environment interactions. Most recently he has initiated projects to recruit large patient samples for GWAS of anorexia, depression and other psychiatric disorders. He has published over 1200 papers and is a fellow of the Australian academies of Science, Social Science, and Health and Medical Science.
Current QIMR Berghofer appointment
- 1992 – current: Senior Scientist and Senior Principal Research Fellow, QIMR Berghofer.
Other current appointments
- Adjunct Professor, School of Medicine (1993), and School of Psychology (2003), University of Queensland.
- 1992 – 2012: Senior Principal Research Fellow, QIMR.
- 1988 – 1992: Principal Research Fellow, QIMR.
- 1986 – 1988: Senior Research Fellow, QIMR.
- 1983 – 1986: Assistant Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
- 1978 – 1983: Research Fellow, Department of Population Biology, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra.
- 1976 – 1978: Research Fellow, Department of Genetics, University of Birmingham, England.
Current Area of Research
I am a human geneticist and founded the Australian Twin Registry with over 30,000 pairs enrolled nationwide. My expertise is in the execution and statistical genetic analysis of large twin studies of behavioural and other phenotypes.
I now focus on recruiting large patient collections for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and we have recently recruited over 3000 anorexia cases and over 140,000 depression cases. New projects are planned for stuttering and bipolar disorder.
- Developed and first published many of the statistical genetic techniques in structural equation modelling now widely applied.
- The first to perform power calculations showing the huge number of twins needed to obtain reliable results, and in 1978 this was a prime stimulus for foundation of the Australian Twin Registry.
- Founded the Australian Twin Registry, which has been a valuable resource for dozens of research projects across a wide range of biomedical disciplines.
- Substantive contributions to the genetics of anxiety and depression, alcoholism, melanoma, and a number of other diseases.
- Australian Academy of Science (Fellow)
- Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) (Fellow).
- Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science (Fellow).
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow).
- 2005 – current: Advisory Board Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.
- 2008 – 2010: Associate editor of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
- 2008: Australian Academy of Science (AAS) (Fellow).
- 2005: Behavior Genetics Association, Dobzhansky Award for Outstanding Contributions to Behavior Genetics.
- 2004: QIMR Berghofer Ralph Doherty Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Medical Research.
- 2003: Australian Academy of Social Sciences (AASS) (Fellow).
- 2000 – current: Editor in Chief of Twin Research and Human Genetics.
- 1993 – current: Editorial Board of American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics).
- 2003: Fulker award for best paper in Behavior Genetics (with N. Gillespie and others).
- 2003: Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.
- 1999: Fulker award for best paper in Behavior Genetics (with M. Neale and others).
- 1998 – 2002: Editorial Board of Journal of Studies on Alcohol.
- 1996 – 1998: President, Behavior Genetics Association.
- 1987 – 1990: Executive Committee, Behavior Genetics Association.
- 1986 – 2001: Executive Committee, International Society of Twin Studies.
- 1986: International Society of Twin Studies (ISTS), James Shields Award for outstanding contributions to Twin Research.
- 1986 – 1992: Associate Editor of Behavior Genetics.
- 1978: Established Australian Twin Registry (with J.D. Mathews).
- 1977: University of Birmingham: Department of Genetics, PhD.
- 1972: University of Adelaide: Department of Genetics, BSc First class Honours in Genetics.