Visit of Prof. Meike Bartels

Meike Bartels is a Dutch researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is part of the research group that manages the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR), which was founded in 1987 and has approximately more than 25,000 twins and multiples over the age of 18 and more than 62,000 twins and multiples under the age of 18, making a total of more than 175,000 registered.

 

Besides the work of the group focused on the twins’ registration, they also carry out several researches with this public, with the objective of investigating the genetic predisposition of some traits. One of the group's works is the mapping of genes related to well-being.

 

Among the main studies, we highlight the meta-analysis (Bartels, 2015 - Genetics of well-being and its components satisfaction with life, happiness, and quality of life: a review and meta-analysis of heritability studies), which found results of heritability, that is, the estimation of the phenotypic variation that is the result of genetic variation, between 17 and 56%, so that there is a genetic effect on individual variation in well-being.

Bartels was with us in Brazil on May 2018. She started her visit with the USP Lectures, entitled "Happiness and well-being: individual differences and twin-based research," whose topic was twin studies (click here to watch) and well-being (click here to watch).

On the following two days, we met to discuss twin registration form and database, as well as twin research data analysis. We emphasized the importance of this contact, where we were able to share our work and learn from the NTR research. The partnership showed us that our work, pioneer in Brazil, is very similar to what is observed in the world, and that it can grow and contribute even more with these contacts.