Current Research Studies

We have a number of active studies that are currently recruiting individuals with eating disorders, women who have recovered from eating disorders, and individuals who have never had an eating disorder. Please contact us to learn more about the studies in which you may be eligible to participate at edresearch@ucsd.edu

Neurobiology of Eating Disorders

ABOUT THE STUDY:

This research is investigating areas of the brain responsible for temperaments reflecting greater inhibition, impulsivity, and effortful control. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) techniques use powerful magnetic fields that allow a scanner and a computer to take very detailed pictures of the structure of the brain and brain activation.

WHAT YOU’LL BE ASKED TO DO:

Participation in this study includes self-report assessments, diagnostic interviews, and two MRI scanning visits.

COMPENSATION:

You will be compensated up to $315

WE’RE RECRUITING:

  • Healthy controls

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS:

  • Adolescent Females between the ages of 14-17 years old
  • Right-handed
If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above research studies, please email edresearch@ucsd.edu

Self-Regulatory Control in Bulimia Nervosa

ABOUT THE STUDY:

This research uses fMRI to assess how the brains of individuals who currently have eating disorders may respond differently when inhibiting responses and regulating emotions. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) techniques use powerful magnetic fields that allow a scanner and a computer to take very detailed pictures of the structure of the brain and brain activation.

WHAT YOU’LL BE ASKED TO DO:

Participation in this study includes diagnostic interviews and assessments and an MRI scanning visit. Participants will complete two tasks in the scanner. The first task involves pressing buttons in response to certain pictures, and the second task involves viewing different neutral or emotional images and using emotional regulation strategies taught during screening.

COMPENSATION:

Participants are compensated $225. Depending on participants’ current location, we cover travel expenses as well as a one night hotel stay for the visit.

WE’RE RECRUITING:

  • Healthy controls
  • Females who currently have bulimia nervosa

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS:

  • Adults females between ages 18-35 years old
  • Right-handed
If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above research studies, please call Joanna Chen at (858) 534-0371 or email edresearch@ucsd.edu.

Sensation and Emotion Study

ABOUT THE STUDY:

This research uses fMRI to assess how the brains of individuals who have recovered from eating disorders may respond differently during tasks related to various sensations. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) techniques use powerful magnetic fields that allow a scanner and a computer to take very detailed pictures of the structure of the brain and brain activation.

WHAT YOU’LL BE ASKED TO DO:

Participation in this study includes diagnostic interviews and a 2- 4 hour scanning visit, with one- two hours in the MRI scanner. During the scan, participants will complete two tasks, the first of which the participant will experience two types of sensations- one tactile sensation and one respiratory sensation. The second task will measure emotional response to sound.

COMPENSATION:

Participants are compensated $200 for this single visit. Depending on participants’ current location, we cover travel expenses as well as a one night hotel stay for the visit.

WE’RE RECRUITING:

  • Females who have recovered from anorexia nervosa

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS:

  • Adults and teen females between ages 18-45 years old
  • Behavior/symptom free for at least 12 months (if recovered)
  • Drug and medicine free for at least 3 months (birth control is okay)
If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above research studies, please call Taylor Perry at (858)246-2660 or email edresearch@ucsd.edu.

The Legacy Project

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

The Legacy Project aims to help implement evidence-based practice for bulimic-spectrum eating disorders within community settings in San Diego. The project will be providing training and consultation to therapists at Rady Children’s Hospital (RCH) Outpatient Psychiatry Clinics in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and evidence-based practice for bulimic spectrum eating disorders, with the goal of helping improve outcomes for difficult-to-treat cases. The study is in collaboration with RCH Outpatient Psychiatry Clinics and supported by the Rolf Benirschke Legacy Foundation.

NEWFED

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

The NEWFED TR-eatment (Neurobiologically Enhanced With Family Eating Disorder Trait Response) is a one week family treatment program for eating disorders that provides a unique opportunity for clients and support persons to learn and heal together. The treatment plan uses new brain-based treatment tools and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), integrated with a new dietary approach with medication management for health living. The program takes place approximately once every two months in collaboration with the Center for Balanced Living in Columbus, Ohio.

WHAT YOU’LL BE ASKED TO DO:

Participants will attend a one week program with at least one support person. Treatment programs will be held from Saturday to Saturday for a total of 40 hours, 8am-4pm. They will be held at either the UCSD Eating Disorder Center in San Diego or The Center for Balanced Living.

COST:

  • Sliding fee scale
  • We provide treatment scholarships for those without insurance, funded by the NEDA Feeding Hope Research Grant

WE’RE RECRUITING:

  • 5 clients will be accepted per week
  • Ages 18 and older
  • Current of previous anorexia nervosa diagnosis
If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above research studies, please email edresearch@ucsd.edu.

Testimonial from a Past Participant

'Having the opportunity to participate in an eating disorder research study, as a result of a personal experience, was rewarding in many ways. The research staff was professional, organized & compassionate; I felt well-informed throughout the duration of the whole study. Not only did I get the opportunity to meet individuals who shared the same interest in learning more about such a life-threatening illness, I was also given great accommodation in San Diego and generous compensation. I look forward to participating in future opportunities! Thank you UCSD staff for a great experience!'