Good news in the Bulik Lab!

The UNC Eating Disorders Program has had a busy semester! In addition to our numerous research projects, we welcomed new members to our team, participated in community outreach, and attended the International Conference on Eating Disorders in Austin, Texas. As summer rapidly approaches, we take time to recognize some of the major accomplishments of our team members.

Grants and Medals:

  • The UNC Eating Disorders Program’s T32 Postdoctoral Training in Eating Disorders grant was renewed for another 5 years! Our program will continue to accept post-doctoral students through 2017.
  • ImageDrs. Don Baucom and Cindy Bulik received the good news that the Uniting Couples in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa (UCAN) project has been renewed for another 5 years. The next phase of this study (called UCAN2) will begin this summer.
  • Dr. Bulik received a Klarman Foundation grant for her project titled “Determining the Role of Uncommon Exon Variation in Anorexia Nervosa”.
  • Dr. Anna Bardone-Cone has applied for an R01 grant to study eating disorder remission and recovery. Working with Dr. Cindy Bulik, Dr. Bob Hamer, and Dr. Nancy Zucker, she will be collecting data to validate an operationalization of recovery that emerged from her previous R03 grant work and to make modifications to her original study design to see if it improves the identification of remitted and recovered states. One big piece of this study is the explicit inclusion and assessment of psychological recovery as related to eating disorders, looking at how people feel/think about their bodies, food, etc. 
  • ImageDr. Bulik and her partner, David Tsai, took bronze at the US National Adult   Figure Skating Championships in Chicago in April!   


Post docs, research trainees, and honors students:

  • Unber Ahmad, Cara Arizmendi, and Victoria Spring, three of our honors thesis students, successfully defended their theses in May and graduated from UNC with honors last week. 
  • Annie Altschul, a junior in the School of Public Health, was awarded a Dunlevie Honors Undergraduate Research Award. She will use the grant to fund her undergraduate honors thesis research comparing maternal feeding style between mothers with and without eating disorders. The project will also compare the temperament of children of mothers with and without eating disorders and will determine whether differences exist in the manner in which maternal feeding style and child temperament are associated in mothers with and without eating disorders and their children.
  • Porshia Underwood, a senior psychology student and dedicated VHP, will be attending the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University as a Brody Scholar in fall 2012.
  • On April 16, 2012, Emily Pisetsky, MA, successfully defended her dissertation titled “Factors Associated with Suicide Attempts in Women with Eating Disorders.” Her dissertation found that women with eating disorders are more than three times more likely to attempt suicide than women without an eating disorder. Furthermore, women with an eating disorder and lifetime comorbid depression, alcohol use, substance use, and/or panic disorder are at a further increased risk for a suicide attempt. In June, Emily will be leaving UNC to complete her clinical internship in Behavioral Medicine at the Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, WV.  
  •  Meg Harney, a doctoral candidate working for Dr. Anna Bardone-Cone, successfully defended her dissertation in May. Lisa Brownstone, a graduate student working for Dr. Bardone-Cone, and Melanie Fischer, a graduate student working for Dr. Don Baucom, defended their Masters theses this spring.
  • Image Lauren Elder, MPH, accepted an externship to work with Rachel Lawson and her team at Princess Margaret Hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand in September 2012. Lauren will be helping with background researching and paper editing during her three months with their program. Note: Dr. Bulik worked at the Princess Margaret Hospital, and Rachel Lawson was Dr. Bulik’s research assistant!
  •  Dr. Christine Peat received the 2012 Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) Student/Early Career Investigator Travel Scholarship to attend the International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED) in Austin, Texas. At the conference, Dr. Peat attended the clinical teaching day, participated in various research workshops, and attended the annual awards ceremony on the final day.
  •  Dr. Sara Trace is the 2012 recipient of a Davis Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Eating Disorders. This grant will provide Dr. Trace with funding through August 2015 to conduct research on the genetics of anorexia nervosa. Specifically, she will be incorporating data from the Genetics Consortium of Anorexia Nervosa (GCAN) into a larger cross-disorder genomewide association study.

Congratulations to all of our team members for their hard work and dedication! Best of luck to all those graduating and leaving the UNC campus—you will be missed!

By: Lauren Janson