B3867 - Integration of genetic transcriptomic and clinical data provides insight into the development of eating disorders - 14/09/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Samuel Chawner | Cardiff University (United Kingdom)
Professor Peter Holmans, Professor Marianne van den Bree, Prof Sir Michael Owen, Professor Cynthia Bulik
Title of project: 
Integration of genetic, transcriptomic, and clinical data provides insight into the development of eating disorders
Proposal summary: 

Eating disorders have a serious impact on an individual’s wellbeing and physical health. Individuals with eating disorders are up to 6 times more likely of dying prematurely, compared to healthy adults with no eating disorders. It is therefore crucial that we better understand the reasons why young people develop eating disorders. However, it is difficult to study the early signs of eating disorders because teenagers only see a doctor when they are already seriously ill. We need research into child development to identify early signs of eating disorders and to understand how eating disorders develop.

We want to understand how the genes influence risk of eating behaviour and eating disorders in the general population. We will use sophisticated genetic analyses to investigate if any subtle genetic changes are linked with weight, eating behaviours, and eating disorder symptoms in the general population. These analyses will also reveal which biological mechanisms are linked to eating disorders. We will also investigate overlap between my findings for eating disorders and those for other mental health conditions.

Impact of research: 
What do you think the likely impact of your research will be? My research proposal aims to understand the role of genetics in the development of eating disorders and related traits, and identify the biological processes that underly these traits. Greater knowledge of the biology of eating disorders has the potential to identify new biomarkers and inform new treatments and precision medicine approaches for patients.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 2 September, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 2 September, 2021
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Congenital abnormalities, Mental health, Obesity, DNA sequencing, RNA, Development, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Genomics, Genome wide association study, Growth