Today, Kathy welcomes Dr. Jessica Baker and their topic is current research on the potential genetic overlap between eating disorders and substance use. Dr. Baker explains some of her findings which including how certain subsets of eating disorders and certain subsets of substance use disorders are more likely to overlap, as well as how certain eating disorder behaviors or symptom levels are more likely to be present.
Dr. Baker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Associate Research Director of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders at UNC. She provides treatment for and conducts research on eating disorders. Broadly, her research focuses on the biological and genetic vulnerability for eating disorders. Dr. Baker’s research to date has focused on the comorbidity between eating disorders and substance use disorders, exploring the genetic overlap between the two. Additionally, Dr. Baker is specifically interested in college student mental health and examining how the transition to college may increase risk for disordered eating, substance use, or both.