Science needs you, and your family

How do genetics, lifestyle, and the environment contribute to health and disease? How are protective and risk factors for health passed from generation to generation? What accounts for health differences within families and across communities?

These are big, important questions, and the University of Minnesota is looking for 10,000 families from communities across the state of Minnesota to help answer them.

Led by a team of researchers from the School of Public Health and the Medical School, the 10,000 Families Study aims to increase understanding of what causes or protects against disease by following the health of these families over time.

“The goal is to improve the health of future generations,” says Principal Investigator Logan Spector, PhD, professor and director of Epidemiology and Clinical Research in the Department of Pediatrics.

All families are welcome
At least two family members are required for a family to participate in the study. The first to enroll must be at least 18 oldand live in Minnesota. Additional family members may live in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin and may be under age 18. Non-blood relatives such as adoptive and stepfamily members are welcome, too.

The study requires participants to complete an initial health questionnaire online, attend a health visit (currently on hold due to COVID-19), and provide health updates every two years. As a thank-you from the study, each participant is entered into a drawing for a $250 Amazon gift card after completing their health questionnaire.

To learn more and/or join the study, visit the 10,000 Families Study website at, or email, or contact Study Coordinator Andrea Hickle, MPH, at

—Kristine Mortensen, editor

Publication date: 
September 20, 2021
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