Gemini is a large population-based study of 2402 families with twins born in England and Wales between March and December 2007. Gemini families have been followed for over a decade, providing information about the twins’ growth, eating behaviours, appetite and the environment at home.
Gemini aims to advance understanding of the genetic and environmental influences on obesity risk; to identify potentially modifiable determinants of excessive weight gain in early childhood; and to contribute to a longer-term programme of integrated genetic environmental research in preventive health behaviours.
Gemini is one of the richest early growth datasets in the world, and the largest dietary dataset for toddlers in the UK. Gemini has led to important discoveries about how our genes and our environment influence children’s appetites and growth.
MEET THE TEAM
The Gemini study was established by Professor Jane Wardle in 2007. Current members of the Gemini team are
Dr Clare Llewellyn, Dr Alison Fildes, Dr Andrea Smith, Alice Kininmonth, Lisa Heggie, Kristiane Tommerup, Francesca Bentivegna & Dr Abigail Fisher.
I helped Professor Jane Wardle set Gemini up in 2007 and I currently lead the study. It has been an immense privilege to have been involved in Gemini since the beginning, and to see the major scientific advances that have been achieved with the help of the Gemini families
Alison fildes, deputy director
I joined Gemini in 2009, when the twins were approaching their 2nd birthdays. I have enjoyed being part of such an important study. The information provided by the Gemini families continually delivers fascinating insights into how the environment and our genes influence our health and behaviours.
I joined Gemini in 2014 to start my PhD on the genetic and environmental influences on health, behaviour and weight. I have taken these insights forward and, combined with my passion for public health, aim to translate this work into recommendations for health policy.
In 2017 I was lucky enough to join the Gemini team as a PhD student. My research explores how our genes and the home environment interact to influence the development of children's appetite and weight. Thank you to all the Gemini families for making this possible. Click here to find out more about my research and the Covid-19 research I work on alongside my PhD.
I joined Gemini as a PhD student in early 2020, and I am hugely excited to be involved. My research seeks to understand the environmental and genetic factors influencing sweetener intake during early life, and the related impact on weight gain and food preference. Click here to find out more about my research.
I joined Gemini in September 2020 to begin my PhD. My research seeks to unpack the genetic, social, and behavioural contributors to healthy growth in the early years of childhood. Having been involved with Gemini through my Masters, I am excited to continue working with the team and grateful to the Gemini families. Click here to find out more about my research.
I am very excited to officially join the Gemini team in September 2021. My research aims to understand the relationship between appetite and reward sensitivity in childhood and eating disorder symptoms in early adolescence, and the genetic and environmental contributions to this relationship.
I’m a senior researcher on the Gemini twin birth cohort, examining genetic & environmental influences on physical activity in childhood. I have supervised Gemini PhD students researching the home environment, health behaviours, sleep & eating behaviours.