CEDI - Centre for Eating Disorders Innovation

The Karolinska Institutet Centre for Eating Disorders Innovation is funded by the Swedish Research Council. Our goal is to push the boundaries of research in the area of eating disorders by engaging scientists from a variety of disciplines to rapidly accelerate our understanding of the causes of and treatments for eating disorders.

At the Centre for Eating Disorders Innovation (CEDI) we are dedicated to applying novel and emerging methodologies and technologies to elucidate causal mechanisms underlying eating disorders. Our ultimate goal is to rigorously apply findings from genetic, biological, and environmental risk investigations to refine and personalize detection, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders.

At CEDI, we are dedicated to mentorship of trainees at all levels to cultivate the next generation of eating disorders scientists. From neuroscience to clinical research, our faculty and global collaborators are dedicated to our education mission. In addition, we are passionate about dissemination of science. Through public lectures, invited lectures, publications, media, and social media, we will translate often complex scientific results into readily understandable concepts for the public.

Our singular goal is to rapidly advance our understanding of eating disorders. By engaging scientists from a variety of disciplines and examining eating disorders through new lenses, we aim to build a comprehensive understanding of the role that both genetics and environment play in eating disorders risk and maintenance.

KÄTS joins CEDI

Starting April 1, 2019, the Knowledge Center for Eating Disorders (KÄTS) will transition from the county council to become part of the Centre for Eating Disorders Innovation (CEDI). KÄTS and CEDI will work together to develop more national and international projects and collaborative research. KÄTS will also enrich CEDI's mission with its focus on education, collaboration with patient and user organizations, dissemination of information (e.g., atstorning.se), and clinical and psychological research.

The quality register Riksät will continue to function as always under the Stockholm County Council (SLL) with funding from Sweden's municipalities and county councils, led by KÄTS employees.

Half-day symposium

On Oct 2, 2017, we hosted a half-day symposium together with the Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders. The conference was held in Aula Medica at Karolinska Institutet between 1 and 5 pm. Most of the lectures were held in Swedish (Yvonne von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Göran Kenttä and Marit Sahlström) while one lecture was in English (Cynthia Bulik). The lectures were filmed for Swedish television.

The research group in CEDI - centre of eating disorders - June 2019
The research group in CEDI - centre of eating disorders - June 2019 Photo: Gunilla Sonnebring

Contact

Professor Cynthia Bulik is responsible for the centre and you can contact her by e-mail if you have any questions. Operations manager Bengt Fundin is also available to answer any questions you may have.

Cynthia Bulik

Professor, Principal Investigator
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Ata Ghaderi

Professor
K8 Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Bengt Fundin

Operations director
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Virpi Leppä

Project manager
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Britt-Marie Hune

Research nurse
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Annelie Billger

Project coordinator
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Marta Stenberg

Research nurse
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Peter Lind

System developer
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Linn Austin

Administrator
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Camilla Wiklund

PhD student
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Shuyang Yao

Postdoctoral researcher
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Andreas Jangmo

PhD student
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Ruyue Zhang

PhD student
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Stina Borg

Research assistant
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Androula Savva

Research assistant
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Afrouz Abbaspour

Postdoctoral researcher
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Andreas Birgegård

Associate professor of psychology and head of KÄTS
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Elin Monell

Clinical psychologist at KÄTS and doctoral student
K8 Department of Clinical Neuroscience

David Clinton

Associate Professor of Medical Psychology and co-ordinator of training and education at KÄTS
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Emma Forsén

Post doc and clinical psychologist
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Affiliates

Marianna Rania

Doctoral student
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Johanna Levallius

Postdoc and clinical psychologist
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Laura Thornton

Associated researcher
C8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Christopher Huebel

Associated PhD student

Elisabeth Welch

Affiliated researcher

Mattias Strand

Affiliated PhD student
K8 Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Long Chen

Affiliated PhD student
K8 Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Ida Nilsson

Affiliated Assistant professor
K1 Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery

Lauren Breithaupt

Associated researcher

Adress: George Mason University

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr. Gerome Breen (PhD, Chair of SAB) is a Reader in Neuropsychiatric & Translational Genetics; Department of Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry; King’s College London and Director NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Dr. Breen will advise on all aspects of CEDI research related to genomics.
  • Prof. Kerstin Plessen (MD, PhD) is Professor and Head of Research, Mental Health Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Prof. Plessen will advise on all aspects of CEDI research that relate to the general field of child psychiatry.
  • Dr. Andreas Birgegård (PhD) is Head of the Unit Kunskapscentrum för ätstörningar (KÄTS) in Stockholm and a research group leader at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet. His work focuses on research, education, supervision and responsibility for the quality assurance system Stepwise. Dr. Birgegård will serve as the content expert for eating disorders and advise on all research related to the Swedish registers.
  • Prof Paul Lichtenstein (PhD) is former Head of Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet.
  • Dr Camilla Stoltenberg (MD, PhD), Director General, Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Dr. Stoltenberg is also adjunct professor at the Department of global public health and community care, University of Bergen. Her training is in medicine, social science and epidemiology. She has extensive experience with population registers and register-based research. She will advise on all aspects of research at CEDI, with special emphasis on register-based research and trans-Nordic collaborations.

Ethics

At CEDI we uphold the highest ethical standards in research. The privacy and rights of participants in our studies are central to our mission. We are deeply grateful to all individuals who are willing to share information about themselves to help us further the world’s understanding of eating disorders. In return, we honor your privacy by being careful stewards of your data.

Ongoing projects

Logo for the ANGI study
ANGI - the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

ANGI - Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) is the largest genetic study of anorexia nervosa ever conducted. With colleagues in the United States, Denmark, Australia plus New Zealand, we have collected DNA from over 15,000 individuals with anorexia nervosa and matched individuals who have never had an eating disorder. We have analyzed the whole genomes to identify genes and that affect the risk of anorexia nervosa and help us to understand the biology and improve treatment. Cynthia Bulik is the lead principal investigator and the KI ANGI team leader is Mikael Landén.

Logo for the BEGIN study
Binge Eating Genetics INitiative (BEGIN)

BEGIN - Binge Eating Genetics INitiative

BEGIN will be the first and largest genetic investigation of bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Taking place in the US and Sweden, we will collect DNA and stool samples from individuals with both of these conditions and healthy control individuals in order to identify genes and microbiological factors that contribute to these disorders. We will be the first large study to try to understand how the human genome and the bacteria in our guts interact to lead to and maintain bulimia and binge-eating disorder. Professor Cynthia Bulik is responsible for the project and the BEGIN team includes project manager Virpi Leppä, PhD student Camilla Wiklund, research assistants Malin Rådström and Britt-Marie Hune, Director of ANGI Laura Thornton, database administrators Johan Källberg and Michael Broms, and collaborators from the Centre of Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR) Lars Engstrand and Ina Schuppe Koistinen.

Logo for the CREAT study
CREAT

CREAT - Comprehensive Risk Evaluation for Anorexia nervosa in Twins

CREAT is a study of identical twins who are discordant for anorexia nervosa. This means that one twin has anorexia and the other does not. The beauty of this study is that identical twins share all of their genes, so discovering differences between them helps us focus on where to look for causes for this debilitating illness. We will be inviting twins to spend two days with us at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska universitetssjukhuset for a comprehensive evaluation including neuroimaging, genetics, psychology, and biomarkers. This unique study will help us understand both the biology and the psychology of anorexia nervosa. The CREAT team includes Bengt Fundin, Ata Ghaderi, Elisabeth Welch, Camilla Wiklund, Johan Källberg, Lauren Breithaupt, Chris Hübel, Maria Seidel, Cynthia Bulik, Ricard Nergårdh, and colleagues from Germany (Stefan Ehrlich) and Los Angeles (Jamie Feusner).

Logo for the IMA study
IMA

IMA

IMA is a new study where we use a unique design to explore the relationship between the host genome and its impact on the microbiome over time in individuals with sustained nutritional deficiencies (severe and enduring anorexia nervosa) as well as the effects of refeeding. The study is a collaboration with Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders (SCÄ). Cynthia Bulik is responsible for the project and the IMA team includes project manager Bengt Fundin, PhD student Camilla Wiklund, research nurse Christina Holmén, database administrator Johan Källberg and the FoU-manager at SCÄ Elisabeth Welch.

Binge-Eating Disorder in the Swedish National Registers

Binge-eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder marked by binge eating (eating an unusually large amount of food and feeling out of control) in the absence of any inappropriate compensatory behaviors. Although BED is a fairly new diagnosis, it has been around for a long time and is the most common eating disorder. We are conducting a series of studies in collaboration with the Swedish National Quality Registers for eating disorders Riksät and Stepwise and colleagues at the Stockholm Centre for Eating Disorders (SCÄ) to understand the nature of BED, how often it co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety, how often it includes medical complications, and how individuals with BED utilize medications and healthcare in general. The research team includes Henrik Larsson, Andreas Birgegård, Claes Norring, Yvonne von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Elisabeth Welch, Laura Thornton, Andreas Jangmo, and Hunna Watson, and Cynthia Bulik.

Eating Disorders in the Swedish Twin and Population Registers

Utilizing the rich epidemiological data available in Sweden, trainees and faculty at CEDI are studying a number of important research questions related to eating disorders across the lifespan. Researchers include Shuyang Yao, Camilla Wiklund, Chris Hübel, Anna Hedman, Mattias Strand, Laura Thornton, Henrik Larsson, Paul Lichtenstein, Nancy Pedersen, Ralf Kuja-Halkola, and Cynthia Bulik.

Publications

Significant Locus and Metabolic Genetic Correlations Revealed in Genome-Wide Association Study of Anorexia Nervosa.
Duncan L, Yilmaz Z, Gaspar H, Walters R, Goldstein J, Anttila V, et al
Am J Psychiatry 2017 09;174(9):850-858

Exploration of large, rare copy number variants associated with psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders in individuals with anorexia nervosa.
Yilmaz Z, Szatkiewicz JP, Crowley JJ, Ancalade N, Brandys MK, van Elburg A, et al
Psychiatr. Genet. 2017 08;27(4):152-158

Paternal age at childbirth and eating disorders in offspring.
Javaras KN, Rickert ME, Thornton LM, Peat CM, Baker JH, Birgegård A, et al
Psychol Med 2017 Feb;47(3):576-584

Enkephalin-immunoreactive fastigial neurons in the rat cerebellum project to upper cervical cord segments.
Ikeda M, Houtani T, Nakagawa H, Baba K, Kondoh A, Ueyama T, et al
Brain Res. 1995 Sep;690(2):225-30

Association Between Childhood to Adolescent Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Trajectories and Late Adolescent Disordered Eating.
Yilmaz Z, Javaras KN, Baker JH, Thornton LM, Lichtenstein P, Bulik CM, et al
J Adolesc Health 2017 Aug;61(2):140-146

Risk of eating disorders in immigrant populations.
Mustelin L, Hedman AM, Thornton LM, Kuja-Halkola R, Keski-Rahkonen A, Cantor-Graae E, et al
Acta Psychiatr Scand 2017 08;136(2):156-165

Risk of being convicted of theft and other crimes in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: A prospective cohort study in a Swedish female population.
Yao S, Kuja-Halkola R, Thornton LM, Norring C, Almqvist C, D'Onofrio BM, et al
Int J Eat Disord 2017 09;50(9):1095-1103

Self-admission to inpatient treatment for patients with anorexia nervosa: The patient's perspective.
Strand M, Bulik CM, von Hausswolff-Juhlin Y, Gustafsson SA
Int J Eat Disord 2017 Apr;50(4):398-405

Risk of eating disorders in immigrant populations.
Mustelin L, Hedman AM, Thornton LM, Kuja-Halkola R, Keski-Rahkonen A, Cantor-Graae E, et al
Acta Psychiatr Scand 2017 08;136(2):156-165

Celiac Disease and Anorexia Nervosa: A Nationwide Study.
Mårild K, Størdal K, Bulik CM, Rewers M, Ekbom A, Liu E, et al
Pediatrics 2017 May;139(5):

Exploration of large, rare copy number variants associated with psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders in individuals with anorexia nervosa.
Yilmaz Z, Szatkiewicz JP, Crowley JJ, Ancalade N, Brandys MK, van Elburg A, et al
Psychiatr. Genet. 2017 08;27(4):152-158

Reduced metabolism in the hypothalamus of the anorectic anx/anx mouse.
Bergström U, Lindfors C, Svedberg M, Johansen JE, Häggkvist J, Schalling M, et al
J. Endocrinol. 2017 04;233(1):15-24

Dissemination and outreach

  • Nilsson, I. “The Neurobiology of anorexia - Studies of mice and men”, CMM Lunch seminar, Stockholm, Sweden. (March, 2016)
  • Jangmo, A. “Binge-Eating Disorder in the Swedish National Registers: Somatic Comorbidity.” International Conference on Eating Disorders. San Francisco, USA (May, 2016)
  • Bulik C.M., “Changing the way the world thinks about eating disorders.” Get Inspired by a Professor Lecture, Karolinska Institutet (April, 2016)
  • Bulik, C.M., “Eating disorders genomics at KI: The next generation.” Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet (April 2016)
  • Bulik, C.M., “Centre for Eating Disorders Innovation: Overview.” Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Welch, E. Comprehensive Risk Evaluation for Anorexia nervosa in Twins (CREAT): Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Hübel, C. “Metabolic function in anorexia nervosa.” Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Wiklund, C. “Binge-eating Disorder Genetics INitative” Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Yao, S. “Theft and other crimes in eating disorders: A register-based cohort study.” Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Hedman, A. “Eating disorders among immigrants.” Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Jangmo, A. “Diagnostic crossover in eating disorders.” Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Nilsson, I. “Mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation in anorexia nervosa.” Nationellt ätstörningssymposium, Stockholm (January, 2017)
  • Bulik, C.M. “Anorexia nervosa reconceptualized: Evidence for psychiatric and metabolic etiology.” Forskning på psykisk helse og rus. Oslo, Norway (February, 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M. "Unlearning - the hardest thing to do. Changing perceptions of eating disorders with science." The David Packard Lecture. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Bethesda, MD (May, 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M. “Nine Truths About Eating Disorders: What every practitioner needs to know.” Norwegian School of Sport Sciences Department of Sport Medicine, Kleivstua, Norway (May 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M. “Building and nurturing a transdisciplinary consortium.” Special Interest Group Panel. International Conference on Eating Disorders, Prague Czech Republic (June, 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M. “Genome-wide association study reveals first locus for anorexia nervosa & metabolic correlations.” International Conference on Eating Disorders, Prague Czech Republic (June, 2017).
  • Yao, S., Kuja-Halkola, R. Thornton, L.M., Birgegård, A., Norring, C., Bulik, C.M., Larsson, H. “Familial liability for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eating disorders: applying a genetically informative epidemiological design in a large Swedish population.” 21st World Congress of Epidemiology. Saitama, Japan (August, 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M., Probst, M., Fernández-Aranda, F. (Symposium) “Males and eating disorders: Clinical features and therapy.” European Council on Eating Disorders. Vilnius, Lithuania (September, 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M. (Plenary) “Eating disorders: Genetics and epigenetics.” Eating Disorders Research Society. Leipzig, Germany (September, 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M., Fernández-Aranda, F. (Debate) “Focusing on body image is an essential treatment component for recovery in eating disorders.” European Council on Eating Disorders. Vilnius, Lithuania (September, 2017)
  • Breithaupt, L., Hedman, A., Thornton, L., Zerwas, S., Tillander, A., Larsson, H., Savendhal, L., Almqvist, C., Bulik, C.M. A nationwide study of the association between autoimmune diseases and eating disorders. Eating Disorders Research Society. Leipzig, Germany (September, 2017).
  • Wiklund, C., Kuja-Halkola, R., Thornton, L., Bälter, K., Welch, E., Lichtenstein, P., Bulik, C.M. “BMI and development of eating disorder traits: A Swedish twin study. Eating Disorders Research Society. Leipzig, Germany (September, 2017)
  • Wiklund, C., Kuja-Halkola, R., Thornton, LM., Bälter, K., Welch, E., Lichtenstein, P., Bulik, CM. (Poster) “Childhood BMI and development of eating disorder traits in adolescence and early adulthood: A Swedish twin study” Eating Disorders Research Society (EDRS) Annual meeting, Leipzig, Germany. (September,2017)
  • Bulik, C.M. “Anorexia nervosa reconceptualized: Evidence for psychiatric and metabolic etiology.” Centrum för arbets- och miljömedicin (CAMM), Stockholm, Sweden (September, 2017).
  • Bulik, C.M. “The new science of eating disorders: Replacing myths with truths.” #EDSTHLM2017. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (October, 2017).
  • Yao S, et al. “Overlap between anorexia & bulimia nervosa: Understanding the genetic and environmental effects using a Swedish population registry”, the 25th World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics (WCPG, October,2017), Orlando, Florida, USA (Oral presentation)
  • CEDI arranged an ”Om Ätstörningar – ny kunskap och ökad medvetenhet” event (#EDSTHLM2017) together with the SCÄ. The event was recorded by the Utbildningsradio and is available online at https://urskola.se/Produkter/203094-UR-Samtiden-Ny-kunskap-om-atstorningar-Samtal-med-olika-perspektiv-pa-atstorningar#Se-program (October 2017)
  • Bulik, C.M. “Keys to a successful research career: Tales from a survivor.” Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (February, 2018).
  • Bulik, C.M. (Plenary) “Eating disorders: State of the Science” Jubiläumskongress. Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria (March, 2018).
  • Bulik, C.M. (Plenary) “The intestinal microbiota and eating disorders.” International Conference on Eating Disorders, Chicago, IL (April, 2018).
  • Bulik, C.M., Kirby, J.S. (Keynote) “Teamwork in recovery: Engaging partners in the treatment of eating disorders.” Nordic Eating Disorders Society. Reykjavik, Iceland (September, 2018).
  • Bulik, C.M. (Plenary) “What have we been missing? How genetics is guiding a reconceptualization of anorexia nervosa.” World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics. Glasgow, Scotland (October, 2018).
  • Bryant, C., Bulik, C.M., Dulawa, S. Hübel, C., Micali, N. (Symposium) “Mammalian genetics of eating disorders.” World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics. Glasgow, Scotland (October, 2018).
  • Zhang, R., Kuja-Halkola, R., Bulik, C.M., Bergen, S. (Poster) Risk for schizophrenia in individuals with eating disorders and their relatives. World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics. Glasgow, Scotland (October, 2018).
  • Bulik, C.M. “What have we been missing? How genetics is guiding a reconceptualization of eating disorders.” Stockholm Centre for Eating Disorders (SCÄ). Stockholm, Sweden (February, 2019).
  • Bulik, C.M. “From slow waltz to jive: Accelerating genomic discovery in eating disorders.” F.E.A.S.T. of Knowledge. New York, New York (March, 2019).
  • Bulik, C.M. “The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative.” Something for Kelly Foundation. Dallas, Texas (May, 2019).
  • Bulik, C.M. “The other half of the story: Reconceptualizing anorexia nervosa.” MAGNET Symposium. University College London, United Kingdom (June, 2019).
  • Bulik, C.M. (Keynote) “We’ve had it all wrong for so long: rewriting the book on eating disorders with genetics.” Behavior Genetics Association. Stockholm, Sweden. (June, 2019).
  • Bulik, C.M. (Keynote) Revolutionizing our understanding of anorexia nervosa through genetics. Could it be a metabo-psychiatric disorder? Essential knowledge for clinicians. XIV European Congress of Psychology. Moscow, Russia (July 2019).
  • Bronnikova, S., Della Grave, R., Bulik, C.M. (Panel Discussion) Modern approaches to psychotherapy of eating disorders: from the utopia of a single protocol to the reality of collaboration of evidence-based approaches. XIV European Congress of Psychology. Moscow, Russia (July 2019).

Donating to KI

To make a donation to our centre, click here and follow these simple steps:

1. Click “Make a Donation”
2. On the drop down menu for “Where would you like your donation to be directed”, Choose: Medical Research
3. In the “My greetings” box, type CEDI