NATIONAL MEDIA ALERT

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE USE

US researchers seeking 6,000+ participants for
world’s largest eating disorders genetics study 

Study to pinpoint genes influencing risk of developing eating disorders

Today, October 13, University of North Carolina (UNC) researchers are calling 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

 

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 coincides 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychiatrist & Regional Medical Director, Eating Recovery Center, TEXAS

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

Clinical Psychologist, WASHINGTON D.C.

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

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

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

Professor Cynthia Bulik

Professor Laura Thornton

Rachael Flatt

Dr Jessica Baker

Dr Tonya Foreman

Dr Christine Peat

Dr Rachel Goode

Dr Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodríguez*

Dr Paola Giusti Rodríguez*

Dr Ya-Ke “Grace” Wu

Dr Stephanie Zerwas

Dr Laura Huckins

Dr Stephanie Setliff

Professor Kelly L. Klump

Professor Lisa Lilenfeld

Dr Karen Mitchell

Dr Lauren Breithaupt

Dr Emily Pisetsky

EATING DISORDER ADVOCACY GROUP REPRESENTATIVES

Patti Geolat

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh

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

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

INFLUENCER

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

Katie, 20

Stacey, 48

Manda, 33

Janice, 65

Erika, 30*

Maddie, 21

Jacob, 25

Shira, 37

Heather, 43

Amy, 50

Kelly, 29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nursing student who has lived with anorexia nervosa, FLORIDA

VISION

INTERVIEWS

B-roll (broadcast) vision will be available for download on Tuesday, October 13

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

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.

Media enquiries

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

VIVA! Communications, AUS

+61 2 9968 3741 | +61 2 9968 1604

+61 401 717 566 | +61 421 551 257

kirstenbruce@vivacommunications.com.au

mel@vivacommunications.com.au
 

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