for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders at
Massachusetts General Hospital
HARRIS CENTER STAFF WITH 2012 FELLOWS AND INTERNS
Top row from left: Nouha Georges, Sonja Swanson, Meera Krishna, Rebecca Patterson, Jessica Yu
Middle row from left: Melissa Johnson, Debra Franko, Kamryn Eddy, Aparna Keshaviah, Katy Tucker
Bottom row from left: Ellie Hastings, Molly Davis, Katie Edkins, Heather Thompson-Brenner, Rachel Korn
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Annual Update: Fall, 2012
Beauty & Health Campaign................................. 2
Keeping Our Center Strong................................. 4
Seeking New Knowledge..................................... 5
Sharing Our Knowledge...................................... 7
On the Advocacy Front....................................... 8
Training Tomorrow’s Scientists.............................. 9
BEAUTY & HEALTH CAMPAIGN
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 15TH ANNUAL PUBLIC FORUM
Nearly 600 students, parents, educators, and members of
the press gathered on April 2, 2012 at Harvard University
Memorial Church for our Public Forum, “Health is Beauty:
Defining Ourselves.” This was the 15th in our series of
annual events designed to educate our community
about eating disorders. Our panelists shared their
perspectives on beauty, the media, and eating disorders,
and discussed ways to encourage positive self-image.
The program opened with Arianna Huffington, Editorin-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group, who shared
that her determination to promote beauty as health
stems from her experiences with her two daughters,
both of whom struggled with eating disorders. Ms.
Huffington explained that The Huffington Post’s
approach to promoting positive body image is rooted
in her belief that “nothing is more powerful than young
women talking to other young women.”
Franca Sozzani (center) with Rue La La Staff
Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani described
her strong stance against “pro-ana” and “pro-mia”
Web sites (Internet content that supports anorexia
nervosa and bulimia nervosa) and invited everyone
to sign her petition or to start a blog against these
potentially harmful sites with the goal of closing them.
Internationally renowned supermodel Doutzen Kroes
described early pressures to lose weight and how she
has asserted her right to lead a healthy lifestyle, and
now encourages other models — and young women
everywhere — to express their beauty in their own
Fashion icon and actress Amber Valletta spoke via video
from the set of Revenge in Los Angeles, emphasizing the
importance of raising eating disorders awareness — a
topic close to her heart.
Next, Harris Center Founder David B. Herzog, M.D.
provided valuable information about eating disorders. He
noted that many factors contribute to the development
of these illnesses. There are precipitants such as
stress and loss, and there are core risk factors such
as perfectionism, obsessionality, anxiety and mood
disorders, and genetic predisposition.
After the panelists addressed questions from the
audience, Dr. Herzog closed the program on an
energizing note: “Let’s team up. Let’s build a healthy
community one individual at a time.”
2012 Public Forum (from left) Arianna Huffington, Dr. David B. Herzog,
Franca Sozzani, and Doutzen Kroes
The Forum garnered enthusiastic reviews in a number
of publications, including Boston magazine, The Boston
Globe and The Boston Herald. We were thrilled that Her
Campus — an online magazine for college students —
and Bodimojo — a body image Web site for teens —
helped spread the word about our Forum.
We extend deep appreciation to our 2012 Forum Advisory
Committee: Stori Cadigan, Betsy Demirjian, Joy Eber,
Ben and Wendy Fischman, John Grady, Nancy Harris,
Joe Johnson, Jill Karp, Alissa Korn, Stacey Santo,
Camille Schmidek, and Lisa Sussman.
“ E NEED TO NOT ONLY ACCEPT
OURSELVES, BUT ALSO TO EMBRACE
— FRANCA SOZZANI
Our Teen Mentor Program offers adolescent girls the
opportunity to learn the best ways to promote positive
self-image. In meetings with our staff, the girls discuss
sources of stress in their schools — such as bullying
and pressure to achieve at the highest level — that
may dampen self-esteem. Then they create outreach
and advocacy projects to address these issues, and
through this process they develop and strengthen
their leadership skills.
Under the guidance of Teen Mentor Program
Director Heather Thompson-Brenner, Ph.D., and
Teen Mentors (from left) Laura Jacobs, Callie McLaughlin, and Katy Tucker
Meera Krishna, B.A., our 2011–2012 students
at 2012 Public Forum
conducted outstanding advocacy projects. For
example, Katy Tucker organized a panel discussion
of high school students that focused on what steps could be taken to foster self-confidence and strong
sense of self. This event took place on May 15, 2012 at Wellesley High School.
In addition to developing eating disorder awareness projects in their schools, our Teen Mentors attend
our Annual Public Forums and participate in a group discussion with our featured speakers. During their
meetings with Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani and supermodel Doutzen Kroes, our students
exchanged ideas with these celebrities about the importance of promoting positive media images across
Our Teen Mentor Program has grown in popularity and we anticipate that it will become a model program.
We are thrilled that parents have expressed interest in setting up the Teen Mentor Program in other parts
of the state.
Led by Jennifer Rathbun, M.D., Director, and Emily Gray, M.D., our 2012–2013 Teen Mentor group is off to
a tremendous start! Please stay tuned for further information about this exciting program. We are thrilled
to start working with our 2012–2013 Teen Mentor group at this year’s Fall Kick-off Meeting, and we look
forward to another exciting year.
THANK YOU, HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL
Each year, Harvard Business School (HBS) hosts a fashion
show to benefit a selected cause. The Harris Center was
honored to be the organization HBS chose to support for
its 2010 show — and again for its November 21, 2011 show,
“Breaking Out,” which took place at the Bijou nightclub in
Boston. Each event drew an audience of several hundred
people. We are deeply appreciative to HBS for producing
these successful fashion shows and donating the proceeds
to our Center.
Harvard Business School Group with
Franca Sozzani and Dr. Herzog
BEAUTY HEALTH CAMPAIGN
HARRIS CENTER TEEN MENTOR PROGRAM
KEEPING OUR CENTER STRONG
CONGRATULATIONS, DR. EDDY
We are pleased to announce that Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D.,
a Staff Psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an
Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School,
was recently promoted to the position of Acting Director of
the Harris Center. Dr. Eddy specializes in the assessment and
treatment of child and adolescent eating disorders. She has
received several awards recognizing her research, which focuses
on the diagnostic classification of eating disorders, particularly
in youth. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Eddy to her new role
at the Center, where her research continues to illuminate the
nature of these complex illnesses.
Dr. Eddy speaking at Public Forum reception
AN EVENING TO REMEMBER
On December 6, 2011, Helena Durst, Wendy Durst Kreeger Doug Kreeger hosted a reception for the
Harris Center at the Bank of America Tower in NYC. Attended by over 70 guests, the event introduced and
educated new friends to the important work of the Center and brought together current supporters and friends.
Helena Durst opened the program with an eloquent account of her recovery from anorexia and bulimia,
explaining that she has come to identify her eating disordered thoughts as “the chatter monkey on [her]
back.” She also discussed the importance of “advancing public and professional knowledge of eating
disorders” and ending the “silence” that has kept many individuals who struggle with these conditions from
Featured speakers included Dr. Herzog, Elizabeth Lawson, M.D., fashion models Doutzen Kroes and
Coco Rocha, and members of the Harris Center Teen Mentor Program Laura Jacobs and Callie McLaughlin.
The evening was inspiring and educational. Helena Durst’s message held the promise of improved lives for
all who suffer from eating disorders.
Reviews of the event by media outlets such as Vogue Daily were highly positive.
ENTERING THE BLOGOSPHERE
The Harris Center now has a voice on The Huffington Post. Published on
April 13, 2012, our first blog entry — “Breaking the Silence” — addresses
the stigma associated with eating disorders. Subsequent posts include
“Teens Mentoring Teens,” “Will I Ever Get Better?,” “How Well Will I Get?,”
and “Psychotherapy: What Works?”
Feedback about our blog entries has been extremely enthusiastic.
We extend profound gratitude to Arianna Huffington for inviting us
to contribute to HuffPost and for keeping “thin-is-in” advertisements
off our blog.
“What will I be like in 5, 10 or 25 years?” This is a question posed
by many eating disorder patients and families, and our central
research project attempts to answer it.
Since 1987, we have followed 246 women with anorexia and
bulimia who sought treatment for their eating disorder. This
seminal investigation maps the course and outcome of eating
disorders, trying to determine how patients fare over time. Who
gets better and how? What factors lead to a better or worse
outcome? We gather data by interviewing our participants
frequently about their eating behaviors, mood disorders,
substance use, health, work, and relationships. The project
has generated over 40 published articles about eating disorders,
covering topics such as recovery and relapse, alcohol and
substance use, depression, pregnancy, and medical complications.
In 2011, the Harris Center received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to find out
how our participants are doing 25 years after the launch of the study. We have exceeded our goal of
conducting 160 interviews by December 1, 2012. We plan to report data from the 25-year follow-up
study at the 2014 International Conference on Eating Disorders sponsored by the Academy for Eating
Disorders. Our findings will ultimately contribute to improved treatment for these serious disorders.
NEWEST RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS
The Harris Center was founded based on our belief that interdisciplinary research is critical to
understanding and treating eating disorders. Here are some examples of current projects:
For over a decade, the Harris
Center has teamed with MGH’s
Neuroendocrine Unit to better
understand the biological factors
that play a role in anorexia
nervosa and to develop interventions addressing bone
loss and other physical consequences of the disorder, and
more recently, hormonal interventions that also address
the psychological aspects of this illness.
The Harris Center continues
to collaborate with 2011
MacArthur Foundation “Genius
Grant” recipient Matthew K.
Nock, Ph.D., in the psychology
department at Harvard University to look at predictors
of eating disorder behaviors and self-harm behaviors in
adolescents. We will soon submit our manuscript on this
project for publication.
We continue to work with
researchers at Drexel University
in Philadelphia to investigate
the role of weight suppression
in predicting recovery or
relapse in bulimia, and we recently published a paper
based on this collaboration in the International Journal of
Eating Disorders. We are now pursuing a similar project
investigating weight suppression in anorexia. Weight
suppression is defined as the difference between a
patient’s past highest weight and her weight at entry into
In an exciting new collaboration,
Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D. is teaming
up with MGH colleague,
Jennifer J. Thomas, Ph.D., to
conduct a field trial investigating
the newly proposed DSM-5 eating disorders criteria. They
are examining how well the revised diagnostic system
applies to patients presenting for the treatment of eating
disorders in three different hospital settings. This research
study is already well under way!
SEEKING NEW KNOWLEDGE
UPDATE: LONGITUDINAL STUDY
SEEKING NEW KNOWLEDGE
UPDATE FROM DR. LAWSON
Dr. Elizabeth Lawson conducts research in the MGH Neuroendocrine
Unit on the biology of appetite regulation in anorexia nervosa. She
has received numerous awards for her research, including the 2012
Early Investigators Award from the Endocrine Society. We interviewed
Dr. Lawson last year in an effort to share with you our excitement about
her work. Here is an update on the progress of her research:
What is the rationale behind studying appetite pathways
in anorexia nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is an inheritable illness but to date, little is known about
the specific genes that are involved in this disorder. Identifying these
genes would lay the groundwork for more targeted treatment strategies.
Appetite hormones send signals to the brain to regulate the state
of hunger or satiety. Our pilot data suggest that there are genetic
differences in appetite-regulating hormone pathways in women with
Elizabeth A. Lawson, M.D.
anorexia nervosa. Release of these hormones can be imbalanced
in women with anorexia nervosa, even after weight recovery, suggesting that this imbalance may have
contributed to the development of the disorder.
What is the focus of this research and what have you found so far?
Our team is studying the role of genetics, endocrine, and neural appetite pathways in the development
of anorexia nervosa. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we have demonstrated underactivity of brain regions involved in appetite in women with anorexia nervosa. We found that release of appetite
hormones is abnormal in anorexia nervosa, even after weight recovery. Our data indicate that abnormalities
in appetite pathways may predispose individuals to the food-related symptoms of anorexia nervosa.
What is next?
We are collecting additional DNA samples to investigate the genetic basis of anorexia nervosa, and
using our food-related endocrine fMRI approach to examine the effect of a potential hormonal therapy on
appetite pathways in anorexia nervosa.
The Harris Center at MGH focuses on education and advocacy
in eating disorders. Through interdisciplinary research, we
seek new knowledge to better understand eating disorders
and improve their detection, treatment and prevention — and
we strive to share that knowledge with the community at
large. At the heart of the Center is a commitment to promote
the healthy development of children, women, and all at risk.
Find out more at www.harriscentermgh.org.
Here are examples of our 2012 research articles:
Lawson, E.A., Miller, K.K., Blum, J.I., Meenaghan, E., Misra, M., Eddy, K.T.,
Herzog, D.B., Klibanski, A. Leptin levels are associated with decreased
depressive symptoms in women across the weight spectrum, independent
of body fat. Clinical Endocrinology. 2012; 76: 520-5.
Shaw, J.A., Herzog, D.B., Clark, V.L., Berner, L.A., Eddy, K.T., Franko, D.L., Lowe, M.R. Elevated pre-morbid
weights in bulimic individuals are usually surpassed post-morbidly: Implications for perpetuation of the
disorder. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2012; 45: 512-23.
Thompson-Brenner, H., Franko, D.L., Satir, D., Herzog, D.B. Clinician reactions to patients with eating
disorders: A review. Psychiatric Services. 2012; 63: 73-8.
PRESENTATIONS AND CONFERENCES
We present our research findings at conferences all over the world. Here are a few of our 2012
JULY 24, 2012
Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, Australia
Treatment of Eating Disorders: Panel of Experts
Debra L. Franko, Ph.D.
~ “A longitudinal look at eating disorders over time.”
MAY 3–5, 2012
International Conference on Eating Disorders, Austin, Texas
Debra L. Franko, Ph.D.
~ “ longitudinal look at mortality rates in eating disorders
Meera Krishna, B.A.
Qualitative examination of impairment in women with
anorexia nervosa shortly before death.”
SHARING OUR KNOWLEDGE
RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS
ON THE ADVOCACY FRONT
EATING DISORDERS COALITION
In 2000, the Harris Center founded the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy Action (EDC) in
Washington, D.C. The EDC is a group of professional organizations committed to raising national awareness and to improving access to care, parity, and research. Currently the EDC is promoting the FREED Act
(Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders), comprehensive legislation addressing eating disorder
research, treatment, and prevention.
For more information, please visit eatingdisorderscoalition.org.
EATING DISORDERS LEGISLATION IN MASSACHUSETTS
In Massachusetts — as in many other states — insurance coverage
for eating disorders has been very limited. For several years, the
Harris Center has served as a consultant to Representative Kay Khan
as she has sponsored legislation providing comprehensive coverage
for the treatment of eating disorders. Rep. Khan’s H. 1187 was sent
for study by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee and
will be refiled in 2013.
Representative Kay Khan
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
As part of our public awareness campaign, we continue to provide information to media outlets for their
projects related to eating disorders. Here are some highlights from the past year:
For the second consecutive year, BizBash
rated the Harris Center Public Forum among
“Boston’s Top 100 Events.”
On July 15, 2012, Boston Globe magazine’s lead
article, “12 Bostonians Changing the World,”
included “MGH’s Dr. David Herzog has Brought
Eating Disorders Out in the Open.”
Boston magazine named Dr. David Herzog one of
the Boston area’s “TOP DOCS.” This is the 10th
consecutive year he has received this honor.
Vogue Daily highlighted the December 6, 2011
New York City reception for the Harris Center
in an article titled “Spreading the Word:
Health Is Beauty.”
On May 9, 2012, The Atlantic published
“What the U.S. Can — and Can’t — Learn
from Israel’s Ban on Ultra-Thin Models,” which
included comments from Dr. David Herzog.
Posted by ABC News on March 20, 2012, “Israeli
Law Eyes Super-Thin Models as Bad Examples”
featured remarks from Dr. David Herzog.
Over the summer, two of our terrific research assistants — Molly Davis
and Meera Krishna — moved on. Both of them excelled in their
work for the Center, not only in the research arena but also in our
public outreach and education efforts.
Molly, who played a central role in organizing our Public Forums,
is now a graduate student in the doctoral program in clinical
psychology at the University of Virginia. Meera was instrumental in
moving our Teen Mentor Program forward and now works for a
health care consulting firm. We look forward to staying in touch with
these talented young professionals and we wish them the very best.
In June, we welcomed two new research assistants. Ellie Hastings is a graduate of Brown University,
where she majored in Psychology. Katie Edkins received her B.A. in Psychology and English at Dartmouth
College. In addition to working on Harris Center research, Ellie and Katie are involved in event planning
and finance management.
GREETINGS FROM STEPHANIE ROSS
Stephanie Ross was outstanding in her role as a Harris Center research assistant between 2009 and 2011.
She is now a second-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at St. John’s University in Queens, New
York, where she is also a research assistant in the PARTNERS Program, which provides free, evidence-based
treatments to children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. Stephanie fondly remembers her time
at the Harris Center and will forever be grateful to Dr. Herzog, Dr. Eddy, and Dr. Franko for their mentorship and
for the education and opportunities she received under their guidance.
MATINA S. HORNER, PH.D. FELLOWSHIP
We established the annual Matina S. Horner, Ph.D. Summer Research
Fellowship in 1997 to encourage young researchers in the field. The Center
mentors these emerging scientists as they conduct independent research
projects and participate in our current research activities.
We had three superb Fellows in 2012. Nouha Georges graduated from
Boston University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in human physiology;
for her Matina Horner Fellowship project, she wrote a literature review
of research in alexithymia (difficulty recognizing feelings) in women
with anorexia nervosa. Rebecca Patterson, a 2011 graduate of
Muhlenberg College, works at the Klarman Eating Disorder Center at
McLean Hospital. During her fellowship at the Harris Center, Rebecca
conducted analyses to explore non-fat phobic anorexia; (continued on page 10)
Matina S. Horner, Ph.D.
TRAINING TOMORROW’S SCIENTISTS
HONORING OUR RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
TRAINING TOMORROW’S SCIENTISTS
MATINA S. HORNER, PH.D. FELLOWSHIP
her project will help inform assessment and detection of low-weight patients who report no fear of
weight gain. Jessica Yu is a second-year clinical psychology doctoral student at Rutgers University.
As a Horner Fellow, she examined the impact of daily stress on binge eating and purging in individuals
with bulimia nervosa. Her study will help clinicians and researchers refine existing treatments for
Many Fellows continue their independent projects after their Fellowships have ended, often resulting
in published papers. Rebecca Shingleton, a 2011 Fellow, focused her project on a data set that
involved investigating real-time data in patients with self-injurious behaviors, including binge-purge
thoughts and behaviors. In 2012, Becca authored a manuscript on this study that has been submitted
A number of our trainees have achieved academic positions in universities
across the nation. Bryn Austin, one of our first Matina Horner Fellows,
plays an important role in the Academy for Eating Disorders and serves
as Director of Fellowship Research Training in the Division of Adolescent
and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Our Matina Horner Fellowship — the first of its kind — has now enjoyed 16 years of progress and
sponsored 47 young scientists; our commitment to this program — to training the researchers of
tomorrow — is stronger than ever.
“ HAD AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE AS A MATINA HORNER FELLOW.
THE THOUGHTFUL SUPERVISION I RECEIVED, ALONG WITH THE
COLLABORATIVE NATURE OF THE HARRIS CENTER STAFF, ALLOWED ME
TO DEVELOP MY SKILLS AS A FUTURE EATING DISORDERS RESEARCHER.”
— JESSICA YU, 2012 FELLOW
STAYING IN TOUCH
We value your feedback. What aspects of our work do you
like? What could use improvement? Tell us what you think
by e-mailing email@example.com.
TO ALL OUR DONORS: THANK YOU!
To protect the privacy of our donors, we have removed their
names from the online version of this newsletter.
Doutzen Kroes (2nd from right)
with Teen Mentors Maddy Welti,
Lillian Pierce, and Jade Hollenberg
Nancy Harris (left) and
Dr. Jennifer Rathbun
Janet David Coyle
and Steve Lynch
WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS
For further details on information covered in this newsletter,
please contact us at:
Harris Center for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders
Massachusetts General Hospital
2 Longfellow Place, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02114
HARRIS CENTER AT MGH STAFF
David B. Herzog, M.D. ........................ Founder
Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D. ......................... Acting Director
Debra L. Franko, Ph.D. ......................... Associate Director
Aparna Keshaviah, Sc.M. .................... Biostatistician
Pat Cable,R.N. .................................... Communications Director
Sonja Swanson, Sc.M. ............................Research Consultant
Heather Thompson-Brenner, Ph.D. ........ Research Consultant
Jennifer Rathbun, M.D. ........................ Director, Teen Mentor Program
Katie Edkins, B.A. ................................ Research Assistant
Ellie Hastings, B.Sc. ............................. Research Assistant
Emily Gray, M.D. ................................ hild Adolescent
Psychiatry Fellow, MGH
Both Public Forum photos
by Roger Farrington
Harris Center Teen Mentor Program
by Roger Farrington
Thank You, Harvard Business School
by Roger Farrington
Congratulations, Dr. Eddy
by Roger Farrington
Entering the Blogosphere
by Roger Farrington
Newest Research Collaborations
by Ivan Walsh
Research and Publications:
Stacks of Books by Kate Ter Haar
Representative Kay Khan:
Used with permission, Kay Khan
Page 9: Fall Leaves by Diane Turner
Page 10: Bryn Austin, Sc.D.
Used with permission, Bryn Austin
Photos by Roger Farrington