The Arizona Twin Project is a longitudinal research study focused on understanding the influence of genetic and environmental factors on physical health, emotional development and the development of resilience in a sample of twins. Further, our geographical location makes us especially interested in examining these factors among Hispanic families. Having an ethnically diverse sample allows us to consider the interplay between culture and genetics.
Within the Arizona Twin Project, Dr. Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, Dr. Leah Doane, and Dr. Mary Davis, along with many collaborators, are conducting two overarching studies. One focuses on the genetic and environmental influences on sleep and other biological factors, while the second focuses on physical health and the intergenerational transmission of pain. Utilizing a twin sample allows researchers to disentangle the genetic and environmental contributions on a particular trait. Further, having a highly diverse sample affords us the opportunity to consider the impact of acculturation, as well as the interplay between culture and genetics.
Undergraduate research assistants are needed for the two projects by assisting with participant recruitment, interviewing families with twins, data entry, coding, and becoming exposed to data analysis. This experience will be extremely beneficial for students who plan to apply to graduate school.