Professor Terry Dwyer
Terry is a non-communicable disease epidemiologist with extensive experience in the conduct of cohort and case control studies. He was previously Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, coordinating research projects including those on cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, childhood asthma, and diabetes.
His work has focussed on infant and child health. His team's research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and sleeping position was recognised by the NHMRC, Australia, as one of the most important contributions to medical research by Australia in the 20th Century. Much of this work was conducted on the 11,000 infants enrolled in the Tasmanian Infant Health Survey (TIHS) between 1988 and 1995 and was supported by funds from both NH&MRC and NIH.
He is currently playing a leading role in two large global cohort collaborations. The first involves a collaboration of birth cohorts in more than ten countries to obtain prospective evidence on the causes of childhood cancer. Little prospective data on this association has previously been available. This consortium, the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (14C), seeks to assemble data on approximately 1 million mothers and babies who will be followed through childhood. It has been supported financially by NCI, and currently Terry is working on this from IARC.
The second study is focused on following around 40,000 subjects who were first measured at school age and are now moving into their fourth and fifth decades. The CDAH study is one of six coborts in three countries contributing data to this consortium. This study seeks to estimate the separate effect of childhood physical and lifestyle characteristics on risk of major adult diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There have been many publications on this including one in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011.
In his work Terry has developed skills in the development of environmental and lifestyle measures, in genetic measures, and the analysis of gene-environment interactions, particularly in the setting of cohort studies, including those set in early life.