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Our Story

BOBA stands for Building Our Bonds Authentically, our project mission.


As a team of Asian American researchers, we know first-hand about the challenges faced by our community, especially over the past several years. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has had more conversations about current issues that affect Asian Americans (e.g., stereotypes, rise in anti-Asian discrimination) with our family members, friends, and coworkers.

Inspired to learn more about how Asian American families feel about these topics, our principal investigators, Cindy Liu, PhD and Tiffany Yip, PhD established the BOBA Project. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)* awarded the BOBA Project team unprecedented funding for this new and exciting research. The BOBA Project is currently the largest NIH-funded study dedicated to Asian American teenagers. 

The BOBA Project presents an extraordinary opportunity for our team to work closely with teens and their parents to learn what it means to be Asian American in the United States today. We are starting enrollment with Chinese/Taiwanese Americans but plan to expand the project to include other Asian American groups in the future.

We invite all Chinese/Taiwanese teens and their parents in Massachusetts to share their perspectives by enrolling in this research study. We will ask you to share your opinions and experiences as an Asian American through online surveys and conversations. By participating in this study, you will help inform new programs and policies that can help address current issues facing Asian American teenagers. 

As researchers, our goal is to capture the voices of the Asian American community. By hearing the perspectives of teens and their parents, researchers can help schools and organizations develop strategies to serve the unique needs of Asian Americans. By collaborating with community organizations, school districts, and our Youth Advisory Board, our research team is working to build bonds—not just between teens and their families—but also between researchers and the community. 


Did you know?

Asian Americans have been historically underrepresented in psychological and medical research. Although Asian Americans represent 6% of the U.S. population, they received only 0.17% of all National Institutes of Health* funding over the last 20 years. That is less than 1%!

According to the Census, Asian Americans are also the fastest growing racial group, so it’s especially important that we are represented in the health sciences.

*The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest medical research agency in the United States.  

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