About the Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI)

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What is EDGI?

The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) is the UK’s largest ever research project on eating disorders. Our aim is to collect the psychological, medical, and genetic information of 10,000 people with experience of any eating disorder. This will help us to better understand the role both our genes and environment play in the development of these illnesses. A deeper understanding of eating disorders means we will be better equipped to help those who are experiencing them. EDGI UK is part of an international collaboration, with many countries coming together as part of the same initiative. For too long, eating disorders have been stigmatised by society, underrepresented in mental health research, and overlooked by research funding bodies. Together with your help, we want to change this. Help make a difference by signing up to EDGI UK today.

What makes EDGI UK unique?

With joining EDGI UK, you consent to join the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) BioResource, a large panel made up of over 200,000 volunteers across England who have consented to let the BioResource team have access to their health-related records, clinical and biological data to help further research. Your participation in EDGI UK will be a valuable resource to advance research in not only eating disorders, but to all other mental and physical health conditions as well. Your contribution goes a long way.

In EDGI, we include all eating disorders so that no eating disorder is left unexplored. Our research shall benefit current and future patients and service users, regardless of which eating disorder they may be experiencing.

Can I take part in EDGI?

You can take part in EDGI if you:

  • Have ever experienced or are experiencing any eating disorder
  • Are 16 or over
  • Live in England

Who runs EDGI?

EDGI UK is led by the NIHR Mental Health BioResource (part of the NIHR BioResource), researchers at King’s College London and is in collaboration with Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.

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How do I take part in EDGI?

  • 1
    Register on the EDGI UK website
  • 2
    Read the information sheet and provide consent
  • 3
    Complete a 30 minute questionnaire
  • 4
    Complete your DNA saliva kit (for genetics research) and return it to us in the free envelope provided.

Need more information?

Please see our Information Sheet or visit our FAQ page. If you have further questions about EDGI or would like to speak to a member of our team, you can contact us by email at edgi@kcl.ac.uk or by calling us on our freephone number 08009176016. You can find our contact details here. Please leave us a message via phone, email, or our “Send a Message” form and our team will get back to you.

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Who we are

EDGI UK is a collaborative effort between King’s College London, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) BioResource and Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity. For more information on each organisation, please read below or visit their webpages.

  • NIHR BioResource

    The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) BioResource is a group of re-contactable volunteers who are willing to be approached to take part in research studies. To date, 150,000 volunteers have donated biological samples and allowed secure access to their medical records and clinical information for research purposes. This enables research to occur at a quicker rate so that we can better understand both physical and mental health conditions and discover new treatment options. Throughout England, there are 13 NIHR BioResource and Clinical Research Facilities. EDGI UK is funded and supported by the NIHR BioResource.

  • NIHR BioResource Centre Maudsley at King’s College London

    The NIHR BioResource Centre Maudsley is focussed on mental health research as part of the NIHR BioResource. The centre supports a large range of mental health studies to recruit new participants into the NIHR BioResource, and also leads EDGI UK which is the UK’s largest eating disorder research study. They also run the world’s largest genetic study into anxiety and depression called the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) study aiming to recruit 40,000 individuals with anxiety and/or depression.

  • BEAT

    We at EDGI UK have partnered with Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, which “exists to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders.” Beat works directly with people with lived experience of eating disorders and their families. Beat works tirelessly to highlight the challenges of those affected and campaigns for change. For more information on Beat and its support services, please visit the Beat webpage or our dedicated page to Beat in our resources section.

Our team

  • Professor Gerome Breen
    Professor Gerome Breen,
    Scientific Lead
  • Professor Janet Treasure
    Professor Janet Treasure,
    Clinical Lead
  • Dr Gursharan Kalsi
    Dr Gursharan Kalsi,
    Manager of NIHR Maudsley
  • Dr Hubertus Himmerich
    Dr Hubertus Himmerich,
    Clinical Psychiatry Lead
  • Dr Karina Allen
    Dr Karina Allen,
    Consultant Clinical Psychologist
  • Tom Quinn
    Tom Quinn,
    Director of External Affairs at Beat
  • Anna Carnegie
    Anna Carnegie,
    Coordinator for the EDCRN project
Am I Eligible?

To take part in the Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative, part of the NIHR BioResource, you must:

  • Have experienced, or have been diagnosed with an eating disorder
  • Be aged 16 and above
  • Live in England

Sign up TO EDGI UK, part of the NIHR BioResource

Developed in collaboration with Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, and with patients and service users.

If you are younger than 16 and interested in taking part, please contact the EDGI UK team at edgi@kcl.ac.uk.

You can withdraw from the study at any time.

Already have an account? Login or Recover Password

The EDGI UK enrolment process consists of four steps:

  • Reading the Information Sheet
  • Providing consent
  • Completing our questionnaire
  • Providing a saliva sample
Talk to us

Please be aware that phone calls go straight to voicemail. We recommend emailing for a faster response.

Our Office hours are:
Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm

Please note that we will not be able to call you back if the number provided is not a UK based telephone number

Need any help?