Johanna Keeler

Pathway 0+3.5

Cohort 2020

Pathway Journey

Formulating an integrative model of neuroplasticity in anorexia nervosa: from theory to treatment


I applied for the MRC DTP after completing a BSc in Psychology at the University of Exeter. During the three years of my BSc, I gained research experience through participating in various research internships, including an interventional study testing app-based inhibitory control training for the treatment of binge-type eating disorders, which was in collaboration with KCL.? Prior to my degree I had worked in neurosurgical theatres, which sparked my interest in neurobiology, psychology and translational scientific approaches.

I applied to the DTP due to the variety of projects that were available within a world-leading eating disorders research team. The translational ethos of the research projects, together with the training and development opportunities, are brilliant features of the DTP. I am interested in investigating neurobiological approaches to eating disorders, and my project investigates markers of neuroplasticity in anorexia nervosa, with a focus on novel treatments. During my PhD I was able to spend three months at the Technische Universität Dresden in order to expand my research skills and foster new international collaborations, which was made possible by the MRC Flexible Supplement Fund. Studying at KCL has provided opportunities to collaborate both internationally and interdisciplinary, as well as to be involved in cutting-edge psychiatric research.


Keeler, J. L., Patsalos, O., Chung, R., Schmidt, U., Breen, G., Treasure, J., … & Dalton, B. (2022). Serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and association with pro-inflammatory cytokines in acute and recovered anorexia nervosa. Journal of psychiatric research, 150, 34-39.

Keeler, J. L., Robinson, L., Keeler-Schäffeler, R., Dalton, B., Treasure, J., & Himmerich, H. (2022). Growth factors in Anorexia Nervosa: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal data. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 1-19.

Keeler, J. L., Chami, R., Cardi, V., Hodsoll, J., Bonin, E., MacDonald, P., … & Lawrence, N. (2022). App-based food-specific inhibitory control training as an adjunct to treatment as usual in binge-type eating disorders: A feasibility trial. Appetite, 168, 105788.

Keeler, J. L., Treasure, J., Juruena, M. F., Kan, C., & Himmerich, H. (2021). Ketamine as a treatment for anorexia nervosa: a narrative review. Nutrients, 13(11), 4158.

Keeler, J. L., Patsalos, O., Chung, R., Schmidt, U., Breen, G., Treasure, J., … & Dalton, B. (2021). Reduced MIP-1? as a Trait Marker and Reduced IL-7 and IL-12 as State Markers of Anorexia Nervosa. Journal of personalized medicine, 11(8), 814.

Keeler, J., Lambert, E., Olivola, M., Owen, J., Xia, J., Thuret, S., … & Treasure, J. (2021). Lower pattern recognition memory scores in anorexia nervosa. Journal of eating disorders, 9(1), 1-11.

Keeler, J., Patsalos, O., Thuret, S., Ehrlich, S., Tchanturia, K., Himmerich, H., & Treasure, J. (2020). Hippocampal volume, function, and related molecular activity in anorexia nervosa: A scoping review. Expert review of clinical pharmacology, 13(12), 1367-1387.

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