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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 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past few years, our team members have had more conversations with our family, friends, and coworkers about the experience of being Asian/Asian American in the United States today.

Inspired by these conversations, our principal investigators, Dr. Cindy Liu and Dr. Tiffany Yip, established the BOBA Project to learn more about how Asian/Asian American teens and their parents/guardians feel about issues related to Asian/Asian American identity (e.g., stereotypes, anti-Asian discrimination). The National Institutes of Health (NIH)* awarded Dr. Cindy Liu and Dr. Tiffany Yip unprecedented funding for this new and exciting research study: the BOBA Project is currently the largest NIH-funded study dedicated to Asian/Asian American teens. 

The BOBA Project presents an extraordinary opportunity for our team to work closely with teens and their parents/guardians to learn their perspectives on what it means to be Asian/Asian American. As researchers, our goal is to record the voices of the Asian/Asian American community. Through online surveys and Zoom sessions facilitated by our staff, we hope to gain a better understanding of the unique experiences of Asian/Asian American families.

We invite all Chinese/Taiwanese teens and their parents/guardians who live in Massachusetts to share their perspectives by enrolling in this research study. We are starting enrollment with Chinese/Taiwanese Americans but plan to expand the project to include other Asian/Asian American groups in the future.


Families who participate in the BOBA Project will help inform new programs and policies that can address current issues facing the Asian/Asian American community. By hearing the perspectives of teens and their parents/guardians, researchers can help schools and organizations develop strategies to serve the unique needs of Asian/Asian American youth.


Our research team is dedicated to building bonds—not just between teens and their parents/guardians—but also between researchers and the community. Our team is working in close collaboration with local community organizations, school districts, student-run clubs, and our Youth Advisory Board to ensure that the BOBA Project can have a positive, long-term impact on the Asian/Asian American community. 


Did you know?

Asians/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%!

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According to the Census, Asians/Asian  Americans are 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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