EMBARGOED: 12:01AM ET, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2020: US Researchers Seeking 6,000+ Participants for World’s Largest Eating Disorders Genetics Study

Oct. 12, 2020 04:01 UTC

Study to pinpoint genes influencing risk of developing eating disorders

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Tomorrow (Tuesday, October 13), University of North Carolina (UNC) researchers will call for more than 6,000 participants aged 18 years and over, with first-hand experience of an eating disorder to enroll in the world’s largest ever genetic research study into three complex and devastating mental illnesses.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201011005055/en/

The ground-breaking Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) aims to identify the hundreds of genes that influence a person’s risk of developing anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, to improve treatment, and ultimately save lives.

The UNC researchers' call for study participants will coincide with the release of their survey results examining the impact of COVID-19 on Americans living with eating disorders, in which two-in-three respondents voiced concern for their mental well-being.1

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that for some, can lead to severe and permanent physical complications, and even death.2,3 While various studies have explored one’s genetic predisposition to developing an eating disorder, only a handful of the responsible genes have been identified to date, leaving many more to be found.

To hear how cracking the genetic code of eating disorders will improve treatments, and save lives, tee up an interview and/or photo opportunity with:

HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

* Denotes Spanish-speaking spokesperson

Professor Cynthia Bulik

Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders & Founding Director, The University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders & Principal Investigator, EDGI, NORTH CAROLINA

Professor Laura Thornton

Deputy Director, EDGI, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA

Rachael Flatt

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, EDGI research assistant & US Ladies’ National Champion & Olympic figure skater, NORTH CAROLINA

Dr Jessica Baker

Clinical Psychologist, Associate Professor, & Associate Research Director, UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA

Dr Tonya Foreman

Child Psychiatrist, Associate Professor, Medical Director, University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, NORTH CAROLINA

Dr Christine Peat

Clinical Psychologist, Direction of the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, NORTH CAROLINA

Dr Rachel Goode

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA

Dr Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodríguez*

Associate Clinical Professor, Psychiatry Department & adjunct faculty, Center for Latino Health (CELAH), The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA *Available for Spanish interviews

Dr Paola Giusti Rodríguez*

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA *Available for Spanish interviews

Dr Ya-Ke “Grace” Wu

Assistant Professor of Nursing, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA *Available for Mandarin interviews

Dr Stephanie Zerwas

Clinical Psychologist, Owner & Founder, Flourish Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA

Dr Laura Huckins

Assistant Professor, Division of Psychiatric Genomics, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, NEW YORK

Dr Stephanie Setliff

Psychiatrist & Regional Medical Director, Eating Recovery Center, TEXAS

Professor Kelly L. Klump

MSU Foundation Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University & Fellow, Academy for Eating Disorders, MICHIGAN

Professor Lisa Lilenfeld

Clinical Psychologist, WASHINGTON D.C.

Dr Karen Mitchell

Clinical Research Psychologist, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System & Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, MASSACHUSETTS

Dr Lauren Breithaupt

Clinical & Research Fellow in Psychology, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, MASSACHUSETTS

Dr Emily Pisetsky

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Minnesota Medical School, MINNESOTA

EATING DISORDER ADVOCACY GROUP REPRESENTATIVES

Patti Geolat

Founder, Something for Kelly Foundation & founder & CEO, Geolat Companies, TEXAS

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh

Author, Founder & Executive Director, F.E.A.S.T., VIRGINIA

INFLUENCERS

Ginger Zee Chief Meteorologist, ABC News, dates her struggles with eating & weight back to age 10, NEW YORK

Maris Degener

Yoga teacher, writer & mental health advocate who battled an eating disorder during her teens, CALIFORNIA

AMERICANS WITH FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE OF AN EATING DISORDER

Marybeth, 49

Eating disorders advocate who has lived with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa & binge-eating disorder, NORTH CAROLINA

Katie, 20

Passionate writer & college student who has spent more than half of their* life consumed by bulimia nervosa, NORTH CAROLINA *Katie has chosen to identify with gender neutral pronouns

Stacey, 48

Eating disorders advocate who has lived with anorexia nervosa, NORTH CAROLINA

Manda, 33

Endured 20 years between her first symptoms & receiving treatment for an eating disorder, TEXAS

Janice, 65

Executive Director, Eating Disorders Resource Center (EDRC) who has battled anorexia nervosa for almost 50 years, CALIFORNIA

Erika, 30*

PhD student in Linguistics who was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at 12 years of age, CALIFORNIA *Available for Spanish interviews

Maddie, 21

Student who lived with anorexia nervosa throughout most of her teens, CALIFORNIA

Jacob, 25

Student, avid hiker, & writer who battled anorexia nervosa for nine years, NEBRASKA

Shira, 37

Nurse, eating disorder mentor, & avid hiker who has lived with three eating disorders for 23 years, MINNESOTA

Heather, 43

Former ballerina, social worker & research associate who battled anorexia nervosa for 23 years, RHODE ISLAND

Amy, 50

Mom who has waged a more than 30-year-long battle with anorexia nervosa, NEW JERSEY

Kelly, 29

Nursing student who has lived with anorexia nervosa, FLORIDA

DIGITAL MEDIA KIT + VISION

Digital media kit available TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13 – edgimediakit.org
B-roll (broadcast) vision available for download – https://vimeo.com/464100773/35c0fa5552

INTERVIEWS

Phil Bridges
University of North Carolina (UNC), US
phil.bridges@unchealth.unc.edu
(919) 457-6347

Casey Adams Jones
C. Adams Agency, US
info@cadamsagency.com
(336) 906-5246

Kirsten Bruce & Mel Kheradi
VIVA! Communications, AUS
kirstenbruce@vivacommunications.com.au / mel@vivacommunications.com.au
+61 401 717 566 | +61 421 551 257 | +61 2 9968 3741

References

  1. Termorshuizen, J.D., et al., Early Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Eating Disorders: A survey of ~1000 Individuals in the United States and the Netherlands. Int J Eat Disord, 2020.
  2. National Institute of Mental Health. Eating Disorders: About More Than Food. 2018 [cited Aug, 2020]; Available from: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/index.shtml.
  3. Fichter, M.M., et al., Long-term outcome of anorexia nervosa: Results from a large clinical longitudinal study. Int J Eat Disord, 2017. 50(9): p. 1018-1030.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201011005055/en/

Contacts

Phil Bridges
University of North Carolina (UNC), US
phil.bridges@unchealth.unc.edu
(919) 457-6347

Casey Adams Jones
C. Adams Agency, US
info@cadamsagency.com
(336) 906-5246

Kirsten Bruce & Mel Kheradi
VIVA! Communications, AUS
kirstenbruce@vivacommunications.com.au / mel@vivacommunications.com.au
+61 401 717 566 | +61 421 551 257
+61 2 9968 3741 | +61 2 9968 1604

 

Source: UNC Health

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