About GEMINI

GEMINI stands for Generational Differences
in Environmental Exposures caused by Migration: Impact on Incidence of Inflammatory Disease.

It describes a growing concern in the South Asian Canadian communities.  These communities are experiencing a dramatic increase in the incidences of chronic inflammatory disease upon exposure to the North American environment.

Micro-wha?

The microbiome is the community of over a trillion bacteria that coexist with you. While these microbes are found in various places such as your skin, airways, and reproductive tract, most of this community is found in your gut. These microbes help us to stay healthy by regulating metabolism, aiding with digestion, and shaping our immune system so that it can work effectively.


The Problem

There are a lot of factors that can influence our microbiome and prevent it from working effectively. For example, elements of the North American diet, increased administration of antibiotics, and pollution can change the composition of the microbiome. Scientists think that these factors change the composition of our microbiome and have associated this change with an increased incidence of chronic inflammatory disease.


The Approach

At the University of Toronto, a team of scientists, funded by the Connaught Global Challenge, are investigating how the microbiome might change when people migrate from South Asia to Toronto. The team will look at how the microbiome is altered in response to global migration and how this could lead to chronic disease. The purpose of this research is to also understand health beliefs, health care needs and access to health care services among 1st and 2nd generation South Asian Canadians living in the Greater Toronto Area.

Learn

Want to know more about the GEMINI study and the microbiome? Take a look at these short animations on the left or the study data below.


Eligibility

  • You are between the ages of 18-35 years old
  • You are of South Asian* descent (including individuals who were born in South Asia or Canada)
  • You have (interview phase) or have not (clinical phase) been diagnosed with any autoimmune diseases

*South Asian countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka


How it works

  • This study consists of 2 data collection phases (Clinical and Interview Phases)
  • You can choose to participate in one or both phases
  • Please refer to the Clinical Phase and Interview Phase sections below for more information and HOW TO SIGN UP

Clinical Phase

If you’re eligible, we’ll schedule your first appointment to visit one of the two research laboratories located at U of T.

  1. St. George campus: Medical Sciences Building (MSB), 1 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8.
  2. UTM campus: William G. Davis Building (DV), 1867 Inner Circle, Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6.

During your first visit, a study coordinator will obtain a fasting blood sample from you. This initial visit should take no longer than 30 minutes and you will be compensated $20.

You will be given 2 questionnaires and a stool & urine collection kit to take home. We know that most people cannot “go” on command, so we made these collection kits for our participants to take these samples at the comfort and convenience of their own home. You will be compensated an additional $50 (NEW! amended protocol for increased compensation) for the completion 2 questionnaires and submitting stool and urine samples back to the study centre. 

The entire process should take less than 2 hours of your time.


CONTACT

Dr. Gary Chao

GEMINI Study Project Manager (Clinical Phase)

geministudy@utoronto.ca

416-978-0389

or use the web-form below

Interview Phase

If eligible, we’ll schedule an interview for you to share your thoughts on chronic inflammatory diseases and access to health care services.

You can choose the location for the interview:

  1. Anywhere on St. George campus: 1 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A1.
  2. Anywhere on UTM campus: 3359 Mississauga Road North, Mississauga, Ontario, L5L 1C6.
  3. ANY other location that is comfortable and convenient for you (e.g., your home, coffee shop, community centre, etc.)

The interview should take less than an hour and you will be compensated $25.


CONTACT

Dr. Jessica Carlos

GEMINI Study Project Coordinator (Interview Phase):

geministudy@utoronto.ca

647-503-2706

or use the web-form below


Contact Us

If you are interested in participating in the study and think that you might be eligible, please contact us. Please indicate your preferred data collection phase (Clinical Phase, Interview Phase, or BOTH) in the web-form.

Feel free to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

Locations

The Clinical Phase is conducted in the GEMINI laboratories located at U of T:

  1. St. George campus: Medical Sciences Building (MSB), 1 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8. University of Toronto.
  2. UTM campus: William G. Davis Building (DV), 1867 Inner Circle, Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6.

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© Cassandra Cetlin.

Funding provided by the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto, the Educational IT Program at the University of Toronto, and the Connaught Fund.