Foundation of Hope Seed Grant Raised in British Parliament
A Foundation of Hope seed grant, a study by Dr. Cynthia Bulik on the genetics of anorexia, was recognized this summer by British Prime Minister David Cameron in the British House of Commons. The UK branch of Bulik’s study, Charlotte’s Helix, was raised in the House of Commons and addressed by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The UK study currently centers on the DNA of Brooks Newmark, a man who formerly suffered from an eating disorder. According to the Charlotte’s Helix Project, Mr. Newmark, the newly-appointed Braintree Minister for Civil Society, donated his DNA to the project, joining the UK government “as the man responsible for civil society issues, including charitable enterprise.” Charlotte’s Helix spokeswoman Caroline Nokes addressed the House of Commons in July, saying that the project is coming to Parliament “seeking to obtain DNA samples from former sufferers,” and petitioning the Prime Minister to recognize publicly the work of Charlotte’s Helix.
Cameron replied with thanks, commending the bravery “of all those who have spoken out about their experiences with eating disorders” and calling for more governmental support for the project. The Charlotte’s Helix Project blog posted a response to their success in the House of Commons, referencing Bulik’s part in the study and the importance of increased government recognition in the study’s success.
Bulik’s work on the genetics of anorexia was funded by the Foundation of Hope in 2010. The study expanded to the UK in 2013 after an advocate of anorexia nervosa study, Charlotte Bevan, established Charlotte’s Helix shortly before her death from breast cancer. Charlotte’s Helix identifies itself as “part of a global effort to collect DNA samples from over 25,000 individuals who have had anorexia at any time in their life, otherwise known as #AN25K.”