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Gene-Environment Research Initiative (GERI)

icon, DNA helixInitiative Co-Directors: Jenae Neiderhiser, Bo Cleveland

The Gene-Environment Research Initiative (GERI) is an interdisciplinary initiative sponsored by the Child Study Center (CSC).

The GERI is conceptualized as an intellectual community for research across the university that is interested in understanding gene-environment interplay and in advancing research to achieve that goal. The GERI is home to the Pennsylvania Twin Registry which is a resource for investigators interested in research on gene-environment interplay that can be facilitated through the use of a population-based twin registry. We are currently in the recruitment phase of creating the registry with a dual focus on recruiting high-school aged twins and children born from 2007 to date.

The GERI is designed to help support research across disciplines focused on common objectives – understanding how genes and environments work together. As noted for the steering committee we currently have active engagement of multiple departments within 3 colleges and hope to engage even more departments in the future. We will help to support early career investigators, researchers new to this area and will provide a mechanism for forming an intellectual community around this issue.To guide the development of this new initiative, the GERI has a steering committee to examine strategies that can be used to help such an initiative succeed, and to share thoughts about components and structure that may be particularly useful.

The Gene Environment Research Initiative Steering Committee (Penn State University) 

  • Jenae Neiderhiser, Ph.D., Liberal Arts Research Professor of Psychology, and Human Development and Family Studies
  • Bo Cleveland, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
  • J. Doug Coatsworth, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Jennifer Van Hook, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Demography 
  • David Vandenbergh, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biobehavioral Health, and Neuroscience Faculty, 
  • The Neuroscience  Institute, The Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences 
  • Daniel Notterman, M.D., Associate Vice President Research, Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, 
  • College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center

For more information about this research initiative, please contact Jenae Neiderhiser or Bo Cleveland.