Our blood counts – 3000 Aussies give blood to help find cure for anorexia nervosa

angi-logo-klarman-final-_4_Blood donations from 3000 Australians and New Zealanders are assisting the journey to find the causes of anorexia nervosa. Well done, Australia and New Zealand!

As an ardent supporter of this amazing research led by Professor Cynthia Bulik and her team and was excited today to receive the following letter from leading Australian researcher in the project, Professor Nick Martin:

Prof. Nick Martin, Queensland Institute Medical Research, Prof. Cindy Bulik (University North Carolina and chief investigator) and me, June-the-survivor-advocate, at the ANGI launch.

Prof. Nick Martin, Queensland Institute Medical Research, Prof. Cindy Bulik (University North Carolina and chief investigator) and me, June-the-survivor-advocate, at the ANGI launch, Brisbane,  in 2013.

Thank you for your support of the ANGI project. We would like to update you on what has happened this year and what’s coming in 2017.

2016 was another successful year for ANGI. Sample collection finished in July and we are very happy to share with you that Australian participants, with help from our cousins in New Zealand, donated over 3000 blood samples to identify the genes associated with anorexia nervosa! This means that our corner of ANGI Australia/New Zealand contributed almost one quarter of the total samples to the international effort, something of which you can be justifiably proud.

Over the last few months, these samples have been assimilated with samples from ANGI participants across the globe and submitted for genotyping at the Broad Institute of Harvard University in the USA. Genotyping, which gives a read out of each participant’s genetic code, will take quite a few months and be completed well into 2017. Once genotyping is completed, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) will be undertaken comparing the genotypes of participants who have had anorexia nervosa and with our control participants who have never had an eating disorder. That analysis will allow researchers to reveal genes unique to each group.

As you can see, a lot of hard work has been done and there is a still a lot left to do before we reap results from the study. We anticipate the first ANGI results to be published in 2018. We will keep you updated as the research progresses and any additional research opportunities that arise. Please also visit http://uncexchanges.org/ every once in a while as ANGI updates will also be published here.

We here in the ANGI research team are sincerely grateful for your help. We feel we are on a groundbreaking journey into the causes of anorexia nervosa and will do our best to share this journey with you.

Yours sincerely

Professor Nick Martin
Senior Principal Research Fellow
QIMR