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

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


The microbiome is a community of over a trillion bacteria that coexists 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 and CIHR, 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.


Want to know more about the GEMINI Study and the microbiome? Take a look at the short animations below.


GEMINI Study needs you! If you are...

  • of the South Asian descent, either born in South Asia* or in Canada.
  • between the ages of 18 - 35
  • healthy and not affected by chronic inflammatory conditions

*South Asian countries defined as the current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka

How it Works

The clinical phase of the study consists of two visits to the study centre located in the downtown St. George campus of the University of Toronto.

Participants will be remunerated up to $70 for the completion of two visits. During the first visit a fasting blood sample will be obtained by a trained phlebotomist. Participants are requested to drop off stool and urine samples, as well as completed questionnaires on the second visit.

How to sign up

email us for complete study information



Medical Sciences Building

1 King's College Circle, Room MSB7319

Toronto, Ontario M5S1A1