Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

1. Your name, academic institution and contact details (Email and website if appropriate)

Richard Parker, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, 1800 257 179,

2. The name of your project and a brief synopsis (300 words maximum)


The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) is a global effort to identify genes that contribute to anorexia nervosa. The goal of the study is to transform our knowledge about the causes of this damaging disease and to work toward greater understanding and ultimately a cure. Anorexia Nervosa robs sufferers of many years of their life.  There is a compelling amount of scientific literature, from family and twin studies, that indicate Anorexia Nervosa has a strong genetic component.  Sociocultural theories of Anorexia Nervosa cannot explain why it is relatively rare where so many are exposed to a ‘culturally thin ideal’.  We understand little about its biological basis.  This lack of knowledge hampers efforts to develop a full understanding of its origins and to develop effective novel treatments and therapies. ANGI researchers in the United States, Sweden, Australia, and Denmark will collect clinical information and blood samples from over 8,000 females and males who have ever suffered Anorexia Nervosa in their lives.  DNA will be extracted from the blood samples in an effort to detect genes that contribute to this potentially life-threatening illness. This will be the largest and most rigorous genetic initiative in eating disorders ever undertaken. The clear-cut identification of genes that predispose to anorexia nervosa could revolutionize the field by providing researchers and clinicians with a concrete finding upon which to base the next generation of research into causes, treatment, and prevention. If you have suffered from anorexia nervosa at any point in your life, you can help us achieve this goal. Your contribution would include a brief 30-minute interview and a blood sample. Visit to participate. Only with your participation can we achieve our goal of eliminating this devastating illness.

3. Recruitment details – who are you looking for

Anyone – males and females of any age – who has ever suffered Anorexia Nervosa at some point in their lives.

4. Human Research Ethics Approval Number

This project has been reviewed and approved by the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute Ethics Committee (QIMR-HREC approval P1339).

5. Opening and closing date for recruitment

Recruitment runs from July 2013 to July 2016