2019 Study Descriptions

Principal Investigator(s) Study Title Description
Julie Adamchick, DVM & Andres Perez, DVM, PhD Got [my kind of] milk? What do you value in the farms that make your milk? Come tell us your thoughts on environmental sustainability, antibiotic use, family farms, and more! The average American drinks 149 pounds of milk every year. Whether you’re well above average or you prefer the kind that comes from almonds, we want to hear from you!
Eligibility:  Age 18 and older 
Silvia Balbo, PhD Swishin’ and a Swabbin’ for Science Every day we are exposed to things that could lead to small, hard to detect changes in our bodies. We want to better understand how environmental factors can lead to changes that effect our health. By swabbing your cheek, spitting in a tube, and swishing a rinse in your mouth you can help us do that. We will give you a small gift for your participation.
Eligibility:  Smokers/Vapers: ages 18 older 
Non-Smoker: ages 18-50
Kids ages 7-17   
No history of cancer or autoimmune diagnosis
Barbara Beacham, PhD, RN The CLIMB Child Registry This registry includes families of children with or without a lifelong (chronic) health condition. The registry will be used by researchers at the University of Minnesota to conduct research with these children and their families. Joining the registry does not commit the family to future studies, but provides information for contact in the future.
Eligibility:  Adults with children younger than 18
Kimberly Bonner, & Nicole Basta, PhD Flu Shot or Not? Flu season comes around each year, and each year you have to decide whether you’ll get the flu vaccine. Come share your decision making process by filling out our interactive survey. We will present you with descriptions of 9 different flu seasons and you’ll get to tell us whether or not you’d get the flu vaccine. Preventing the flu protects us all!
Eligibility:  1) Born before 1955 OR between 1981-1996
2) MN State Resident
Christy Boraas, MD Contrasperm: the Future of Male Birth Control Despite many advances in birth control for women, male birth control methods are few and far between. Come help us find out what a good male fertility control method would look like and what would motivate men to use them in their sexual relationships!
Eligibility:  People aged 18-45 years
Currently or previously sexually active
Use of birth control to prevent pregnancy
Mandy Brosnahan, PhD & Taylor Mach, PhD Got Staph? Did you know you’re covered in microbes – and it’s a good thing? Concordia University, St. Paul Science Department is studying a bacterium commonly found in your nose! Come take a short survey and get swabbed with us!
Eligibility:  Age 18+
Mary Butler, PhD Guardians of the Healthcare Galaxy: Defining Stewardship The Project for Advancing Healthcare Stewardship (PAHS) is a new collaboration aimed at creating a community engaged in conversations about health and health care. We want to understand how others define the idea of stewardship. Come take a short survey and do a brief interview!
Eligibility:  Ages 18 and older
Collin Calvert, MPH What Do You Know About Risks for Cancer? Many things can increase your risk for cancer. Take our survey and learn more!
Eligibility:  Age 21 or older
Chen Chen, MD & Deanna Teoh, MD The Mystery of Palliative Care This brief survey will explore Minnesotans’ knowledge of palliative care. No previous education on the topic or experience required.
Eligibility:  Age 18+ 
Abigail Clarke-Sather, PhD Toys Designed and Tested by Kids for Kids Our goal is to have children between 18 months and 5 years old come and test six different toys. Three of them are designed by engineering students at UMD and the other three are used for the Early Problem Solving Indicator (EPSI) test, a standard measure of cognitive child development. The volunteer child, with parents present, will play with each toy for 2 minutes while being videotaped to see how children use their hands in play. Once they finish with the toys, then the volunteer child will work with a design engineer to help create their ideal toy out of re-moldable foam that they can take home.
Eligibility:  Children 18 months to 5 years old
Sarah Coleman, MBA You’re a Citizen Scientist! You can be a Citizen Scientist! People like you, with or without a medical diagnosis, help us create new treatments and learn about health conditions. Enroll in a registry to be contacted about joining us!
Eligibility:  Everybody!
Jennifer Connor, PhD & Abby Girard, PsyD Let’s Talk About Sex In this study you will help us develop a questionnaire to measure sexual health literacy. In other words, a questionnaire that addresses how people are able to access and analyze information particular to their own sexual health.
Eligibility:  Age 18+ 
Scott Crow, MD Cheese, curd you contribute to eating disorders research? Are you interested in helping us learn more about eating disorders? We’re looking for females with no history of an eating disorder and those with a current or past eating disorder to participate at the Minnesota Center for Eating Disorders Research. Complete a 15-minute survey related to your mental health and medical history to determine your eligibility for our studies.
Eligibility:  Females ages 18 to 55
Kathryn Cullen, MD Brain Health in Girls and Young Women: The Future is Female! Our research aims to understand and improve mental health in young people. We study brain development and mental health in adolescents and young adults using clinical assessment, brain imaging, hormone tests and more. We are now recruiting girls and young women age 12-24 for two research studies at the University of Minnesota. Stop by our booth to learn about the brain and win some prizes!
Eligibility:  Females, ages 12-24
Evelyn Davies-Venn, PhD Can you hear me? Check it hear! This study will assess the hearing status and conduct a survey of the general population in Minnesota. We aim to assess the following: 1) participants’ behavior with seeking and accessing hearing healthcare services, 2) their knowledge of their hearing status, 3) their needs and preferences for the best eHealth models for receiving hearing healthcare services. We also aim to evaluate the effectiveness of a streamlined eHealth hearing healthcare delivery model that improves access to and affordability of hearing services. The findings from this study will aid in our ongoing efforts to determine the best use of emerging technology to provide affordable hearing healthcare to everyone.
Eligibility:  Age 18+
Melanie Firestone, MPH & Craig Hedberg, PhD Dine or Dash? What did health inspectors find the last time they were at your favorite restaurant? In Minnesota, restaurant inspection results are public, but not publicized. We want to know about your interest in public disclosure of restaurant inspection results in Minnesota.
Eligibility:  18+ years of age
MN Resident
Staci Gallahue & Leonard Marquart, PhD, RD 24-Carrot Advice We are interested in gauging customer perceptions of registered dietitians working in grocery stores where they can assume a more preventive role.
Eligibility:  Ages 18 and older
Joe Gaugler, PhD Are you caring for someone with memory loss? Are you caring for someone with memory loss? Sign up for the University of Minnesota Caregiver Registry.
Eligibility:  Age 18+
Caring for someone with memory loss
Linsey Griffin, PhD Lend a HAND for 3D SCANS Get your hand 3D scanned! YOUR HAND is crucial to improving the fit, function, and innovation of products for hands! Help us improve the design of gloves, tools, and the countless products that your hand touches daily.
Eligibility:  Age 15 and older
Meredith Gunlicks-Stoessel, PhD, LP The Brain Games Exercise your brain today! Come play a few computerized games that test your thinking and help us understand how adolescents and young adults process emotions.
Eligibility:  Ages 12-25 
Casey Hooke, PhD & Carole Tucker, PhD How Does Your Child Mooove? We are developing a new research questionnaire to measure parents’ report of physical activity in their young children. We are asking parents of young children to provide us with their input on what physical activities their children do.
Eligibility:  Parents of children ages 2 to 7 years who are meeting developmental milestones
Timothy Huang, MS & Lizbeth Finestack, PhD Is that a yes or no? Are you going to the party?’ ‘I have an exam tomorrow.’ When hearing this conversation, most of us know immediately that the person is indirectly rejecting the invitation. However, such seemingly straight-forward exchanges may be beyond the comprehension abilities of some children who have trouble understanding the message that goes beyond the literal language. Using an iPad, children will look at pictures, listen to short conversations, and judge whether the speaker meant yes or no.
Eligibility:  Children aged 4-10 years with typical development
Courtney Hutton & Evan Suma Rosenberg, PhD Top Drone Explore the power of augmented reality! Plan a path for a drone through a mixed reality obstacle course using some of the latest technology. Help us discover which interface is the most effective!
Eligibility:  Ages 18 and older 
Normal vision or vision corrected to normal by contact lenses
Manda Keller-Ross, PhD, DPT The Menopause Study The Menopause Study has two purposes. First, we are conducting a survey to assess symptoms of menopause in women and their beliefs and perspectives on different therapies to treat menopausal symptoms. Second, we would like to use this opportunity to talk to women about a study we are conducting in our laboratory to understand blood pressure regulation in women who enter premature and early menopause. Women, after menopause have a significant increase in their risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease compared with men their age and we are interested in identifying risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.
Eligibility:  Women who are peri or post-menopausal
Melissa Laska, PhD, RD The Veggie Meter Study The Veggie Meter is an easy-to-use, non-invasive device that measures carotenoids in our skin. Carotenoids are the colorful substances found in fruits and vegetables. We want to study the Veggie Meter to ensure it is accurately measuring carotenoids for all people and all skin tones. Successful outcomes of this study will allow us to measure fruit and vegetable intake (via skin carotenoids) more economically and efficiently in the future.
Eligibility:  Age 18-65
No Chronic Disease Diagnosis
BMI 18.5 – 29.9
Not Pregnant
Kristin Lefebvre, DPT & Amy Toonstra, DPT Under Pressure Several blood pressure measurements will be taken with various cuff tightness levels to determine if blood pressure readings are accurate at these different tightness values.
Eligibility:  18 years of age or older
Leanna Leverich The Nutrient Cascade: How Fresh is your Freshwater? Agriculture has a substantial influence on the environment with nutrient loss having a particularly great impact on water quality. However, the primary cause of water pollution can greatly vary between watersheds. Due to the large variation in pollution source by watershed, it is not clearly communicated what is truly driving water contamination. This study aims to assess perceptions surrounding agriculture and water quality, and the relationship between the two. This survey will gauge how the public and those affiliated with agriculture feel in regards to agriculture’s contribution to water pollution, and what sources they believe contribute the greatest amount to water quality degradation.
Eligibility:  18 years of age or older
Jane Lewis, MD Male circumcision: experiences and opinions Male circumcision is undertaken for a variety of religious, cultural and medical reasons. The topic of pediatric male circumcision brings about much debate regarding patient autonomy, religious freedom, utilization of medical resources and the medical value of the procedure. Unfortunately there is a lack of data on the experiences and opinions of those who have been directly affected by circumcision decisions: adult men and their sexual partners. In the absence of such data, parents considering newborn circumcision are offered little guidance in terms of the anticipated life experience of their child based on his circumcision status. In collecting such data we hope to provide some clarity for new parents considering circumcision.
Eligibility:  Age 18+
Wendy Looman, PhD & Peter Scal, MD Tip Top Kids We want to know how kids are feeling about their life in general, and how much this changes over time. We’re asking teens and parents of younger kids to draw a line to show us the ups and downs of their quality of life over the past year, and to answer a few survey questions.
Eligibility:  Kids & adolescents ages 2 – 17
Scott McConnell, PhD & Alisha Wackerle-Hollman, PhD Hello! My Name is IGDI: Testing Preschool Literacy What are early signs of reading in preschoolers? How do kids rhyme? How do they identify letter sounds? Preschoolers will use an iPad to play literacy games to help us find out.
Eligibility:  Children 4 years old
Kota Minegishi, PhD Got milk? Goat milk? Oat milk? Help us understand the changing milk market. Are you surprised or excited to see so many options showing up at the dairy corner of grocery stores? Tell us how you choose your milk. Also, how do you perceive livestock farming and farm animal welfare? These topics are important to farmers, agricultural industries, and many fellow Minnesotans!
Eligibility:  Anyone aged 18 or older
Nichole Morris, PhD & Curtis Craig, PhD Why did the chicken cross the RCI? This project proposes developing clear and reproducible methods for engaging community members regarding upcoming road treatments for greater stakeholder support. Participants will be randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions: basic education, video education, testimonial, or driving simulation to learn about restricted crossing u-turn intersections and provide feedback.
Eligibility:  Age 18 and over 
Licensed Driver 
No history of motion, sea, or car sickness 
No medical issues that restrict driving
Carrie Neerland, PhD & Sarah Hoffman, PhD #Time’s Up Healthcare The #metoo and #timesup movements have gained extensive recent media attention, however, most of the conversations around sexual harassment have been in regard to the entertainment industry. Sexual harassment in healthcare has received little media attention and has not been studied extensively or in a way that is inclusive of all roles and genders. We are interested in learning about the experiences of healthcare employees and healthcare students in relation to the #metoo and #timesup movements.
Eligibility:  Age 18 and over  
Currently employed in healthcare (providing direct patient care or contact) or a health professions student   
Maria Ordonez, MD Male ejaculation – who cares?  A study evaluating the opinions of men and their partners regarding ejaculate. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an extremely common medical condition involving enlargement of the prostate. Men suffering from the condition experience bothersome urinary symptoms (frequency, urgency, weak stream) and are at increased risk of urinary tract infections. Various treatment options are available with a common side effect of decreased ejaculate volume. While significant resources have been allocated to the development of BPH treatments that maintain ejaculatory function, little research has been done to determine whether decreased ejaculate volume is actually bothersome to sexual partners. In undertaking the present study we hope to gain some insight into the opinions of both men and women regarding their male partners’ ejaculatory function. We hope that such data will help us better counsel men considering BPH treatments.
Eligibility:  Age 18+
Sexually active
Hyun Soo Park, PhD Create your own 3D Avatar You will learn to dance while artificial intelligence creates a 3D avatar for you.
Eligibility:  Age 10 and older
Kathy Quick, PhD Potholes and politics: How to patch them up? Minnesota’s transportation system needs attention. Take 5 minutes to share your opinions about what to do: Raise the gas tax? Build more roads and/or more transit? Do nothing? Open to any adult Minnesotan. All participants entered for $500 prize drawing.
Eligibility:  All MN residents aged 18+
Sujaya Rao, PhD Bug Appetit Insects are rich in protein. They are eaten by humans in many countries, but not in the US, as consumers are largely unaware of the benefits of insects as food and few have had an opportunity to taste any. The aim of this study is to increase awareness about insects as a tasty source of high protein food. Participants will engage in a blind taste study to determine if they find products made with cricket flour to be as tasty, less tasty, or perhaps tastier than regular grocery store products and to see if they can tell which of the products tasted are made with cricket flour. After the test, would participants be willing to include or accept insect-based ingredients in future food choices?
Eligibility:  All ages
Michael Smanski, PhD Combating Invasive Carp via Genetic Engineering Common carp are an invasive species that harm local ecosystems. This survey aims to gauge public opinion on a variety of strategies for controlling carp, including new approaches that use genetically engineered fish.
Eligibility:  Open to everybody 18 and up
Rebecca Smith & Timothy Kowalewski, PhD CoRobotic Printing: Can you outperform a surgeon? This project seeks to understand how humans interact with autonomous handheld robots at high speeds and precision.
Eligibility:  Ages 18+
Logan Spector, PhD & Mark Schleiss, MD CMV @ D2D We are studying a common virus called CMV, or cytomegalovirus. Most people with CMV are completely healthy and will remain that way. However, people can experience everything from very minor cold symptoms to health complications, including hearing loss. We need a better understanding of how many young people age five and under have CMV in their saliva. To accomplish this we are collecting saliva and optional blood from a finger prick, we will test the samples for CMV.  No names are collected and the information is kept anonymous.
Eligibility:  Kids age 0-5 and their parents
MN resident
Logan Spector, PhD 10,000 Families Study The 10,000 Families Study seeks to understand how genetics, lifestyle, and environmental influences contribute to health and disease. Our goal is to enroll 10,000 diverse families from across Minnesota, including children, parents, grandparents, and other family members. With your help, we can help current and future generations of Minnesotans be as healthy as possible.  What would we like from you at the Fair? To complete a short (5-10 minute) form describing your family to see if you are eligible. We will also have engaging health science activities for kids and adults.
Eligibility:  Do you live in Minnesota?  Do you have a family member living in Minnesota?  Are you 18 years or older?
Mary Stenson, PhD & Catherine Bohn-Gettler, PhD Strong bodies, Strong minds This study will engage parents/guardians and children in tasks related to exercise and learning. Children will complete play-based, non-strenuous exercise tasks and complete a video learning task. Parents will complete a survey about activity, access to parks, and recess. Participants can expect to engage in fun and meaningful tasks for 15 minutes.
Eligibility:  Families with preschool and elementary-aged children
Cyndee Stull, MDH & Elise Sarvas, DDS Your dentist said what? Certain mouth and throat cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. The number of HPV-related oral cancers is rapidly increasing. The good news is that there is a vaccine available to prevent HPV-related cancers and is currently recommended for ages 9-26. Dentists, dental hygienists, and other dental providers play an important role in preventing oral cancer in their patients. But, dentists do not regularly talk about vaccinations with their patients. How would parents feel about dentists talking to them and their children about HPV and the HPV vaccine? This survey will help us to understand the perceptions of parents toward HPV discussions with their dentists and hygienists.
Eligibility:  Parents of children between the ages of 9 and 17
Evan Suma Rosenberg, PhD Guided Navigation in Virtual Reality We are exploring how two people using virtual reality communicate when one person has to guide another person through a virtual environment.
Eligibility:  20/20 (or corrected to 20/20) vision
No history of severe motion sickness
Not currently pregnant
Carrie Terrell, MD What do Women Want?? Living Longer, Living Well for Women over 60. Our goal is to learn about the goals and strengths of women as we age.
Eligibility:  Women over 60 years old
Lucie Turcotte, MD & Jürgen Konczak, PhD No peeking! Where is your hand? Quick, without looking where is your index finger? Your foot? Kids, see how well you know where your body is in space. We have developed new measures of body awareness to measure body position sense in children. We need your help to learn how these sensory abilities develop during childhood.
Eligibility:  Children ages 3 to 17  
Individuals age 14 years and younger must be with a parent or guardian
Ann Van de Winckel,  PhD, MSPT, PT Your Sneak Peek into your body Yoga, meditation, mindfulness… what do they have in common? They influence your body awareness and/or body image. We at the ‘Brain Body Mind Lab’ would like to ask you: ‘As a healthy adult: How do you view your body? How aware are you of your body?’ Please come take the anonymous survey on body awareness and body image. Your responses will help us guide people with health problems towards a ‘healthy state of mind and body’. You will receive a UMN drawstring backpack as a ‘thank you’!
Eligibility:  Ages 18 and older
Not currently pregnant
Iris Vilares, PhD Are You Sure About That? The goal of this research is to see how people make decisions when they are unsure. In this study you will be asked to complete three different decision-making tasks covering perceptual, social, and emotional judgements. You will also be asked to fill out a few questionnaires. You will receive a token gift as well as the chance of winning a prize raffle.
Eligibility:   Ages 18-80
Normal or corrected-to-normal vision 
Sophia Vinogradov, MD All Aboard the Brain Train When conducting research in mental health, we are often interested in how people with a certain diagnosis differ from those without the diagnosis. For that reason, it’s important for researchers to see how average adults perform on all kinds of measurements as a comparison group. We have several new brain training games on iPads that test cognitive skills and some brief questionnaires we use in our research that need average performance data. All participants receive a ‘University of Minnesota Citizen Scientist’ hat as our thanks!
Eligibility:  Aged 18-80
Danielle Westenberg, MD & John Fischer, MD To Mesh or Not To Mesh? Synthetic mesh is frequently used in surgeries for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence in women. We want to know, what do you think of mesh?
Eligibility:  Females ages 18 and older
Males ages 18 and older with a current female partner
Annelise Wilhite, MD & Rahel Ghebre, MD What’s preventing the prevention? By connecting with the broad population at the Minnesota State Fair, we hope to better  understand the prevalence of those who meet criteria for genetic testing for high risk mutations in our own community, and identify barriers to accessing these tests. This, in turn, will help us improve education and access to care in a meaningful way.
Eligibility: Women age 18 or older
Jeff Wozniak, PhD, LP Brains on a Stick! Kids… give a brain, get a brain! Sign up to have a brain MRI scan, receive a picture of your brain, and test your IQ at the University of Minnesota. Help us learn more about brain development and be paid for your time.
Eligibility: Youth ages 8-16
Parent/Guardian of an 8-16 year old
Charlene Zhang & Nathan Kuncel, PhD You be the judge! People are faced with numerous situations every day in which they have to make judgments and decisions. We want to examine factors that influence the way people make judgments in two scenarios: 1) in hiring, and 2) in interpreting research findings. We will explore how individuals make use of information about applicants’ credentials and diversity in making hiring decisions. We will also examine how different ways in which research findings are presented will affect the audience’s perception and judgment of those findings.
Eligibility:  Ages 18 and older
Virginia Zuiker, PhD Where does my money go? For the past 12 years, our economy has fluctuated with some Americans feeling great about their financial status and many others who are adjusting to life with reduced income and resources, ie. living with less. Take our survey so we can better understand the financial management practices of those who attend the Minnesota State Fair.
Eligibility:  Ages 18 and older