Led by Rana Dajani (Hashemite University, Jordan), Catherine Panter-Brick (Yale University, US), and Connie Mulligan (University of South Florida, US).
We work with three groups of Syrian families displaced to Jordan as a result of conflict, with contrasting experiences of war-related violence. Our goal is to increase our understanding the epigenetic signatures of war trauma exposures, and the extent to which they are heritable. This will help us to understand to extent to which fetal and child development are malleable and impacted by trauma.
For this project, we are collecting DNA cheek swabs from three generations: the child, mother, and grandmother. We are comparing groups with 1980 war exposure (grandmothers pregnant during war), 2011 war exposure (mothers pregnant during war), and no war exposure.
The project was initiated at the request of Syrian participants, to document the intergenerational consequences of war-related violence. To-date, this is the only multi-generation study of the epigenetic effects of trauma in humans.