Linda Booij, PhD




6605 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3


 Office phone: (514) 761-6131 x3522

Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Full Professor, McGill University
Head of Research and Academic Development, Eating Disorders Continuum of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Eating Disorders Continuum of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute

Lab name: Eating Disorders Continuum

Theme-Based Group: Youth Mental Health and Early Intervention
Division: Clinical Research


Research themes:
  • Neurobiology of eating disorders (epigenetic, genetic and brain processes)
  • Biopsychosocial predictors and trajectories of treatment response
  • Development and application of virtual interventions
  • Effectiveness of knowledge transfer initiatives
Research activities:

Dr. Booij and her colleagues at the Eating Disorders Continuum are conducting research that focuses specifically on the biopsychosocial pathways of eating disorders and is centred around four themes: (i) Neurobiology of eating disorders (epigenetic, genetic and brain processes), (ii) Biopsychosocial predictors and trajectories of treatment response, (iii) Development and application of virtual interventions and (iv) Effectiveness of knowledge transfer initiatives. The research includes individuals with eating disorders and involves imaging technology, genetic and epigenetic markers, as well as behavioural and cognitive measures.

Ongoing studies on eating disorders include:

  • DNA methylation in adolescents and adults with anorexia nervosa (CIHR funded, PIs: Steiger, Booij).
  • A nationwide longitudinal study on the neural mechanisms of Anorexia Nervosa (CIHR funded, PIs: Booij, Dimitropoulos, Arnold) in collaboration with eight other eating disorder treatment centres in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.
  • Development of virtual interventions for individuals with eating disorders.
  • Studies on risk and resilience factors for (enduring) eating disorders.
  • Psychometric investigations of symptom assessment instruments.

In addition to the collaborative studies at the Eating Disorders Continuum, Dr. Booij also conducts longitudinal research on risk factors for mental health issues in children and adolescents. These projects involve community samples and are conducted in collaboration with various researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine and other researchers across Canada.

Ongoing research on child and adolescent development include:

  • A longitudinal study on the role of the perinatal environment on DNA methylation and brain processes in a cohort of monozygotic twins (PDIMOZY) (CIHR funded, PI: Booij)
  • Collaborative research on the impact of prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants on child and adolescent development. This work is conducted in the MIREC cohort and is in close collaboration with various researchers across Canada.

Dr. Linda Booij obtained her Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where she conducted various experimental studies on the role of serotonin in mood and cognition in individuals with depression. She then did her postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry of McGill University, where she was trained in PET imaging and human genetics.
After establishing her research laboratory, she led various studies as Principal Investigator on the impact of early adversity on brain development and risk for psychopathology (in particular depression and eating disorders), and on the role of serotonin in brain development.

Since January 2023, Linda is a Full Professor at McGill University, and Head of Research and Academic Development of the Eating Disorders Continuum of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. Her current research particularly focuses on the biopsychosocial pathways of eating disorders.

* Indicates staff or trainees (previously) supervised by Dr. Booij

*Breton, E., Juster, R-P, & Booij. L.(2023). Gender and sex in eating disorders: A narrative review of the current state of knowledge, research gaps, and recommendations. In press. Brain & Behavior.

Loose, T., Geoffrey, M-C., Orri, M., Chadi, N., *Scardera, S., Booij, L., *Breton, E., Tremblay, R.E., Boivin, M., Côté, S. (2023) Pathways of association between disordered eating in adolescence and mental health outcomes in young adulthood during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian journal of public health, 114(1), 22–32. doi:10.17269/s41997-022-00715-8.

Steiger, H., Booij, L., St-Hilaire, A., & Thaler, L. (2023). Eating Disorders. In Blaney, P; Krueger, R. Oxford. Textbook of Psychopathology. 4th. Oxford University Press, United States.

*Dufour, R., Novack, K. Chadi, N., & Booij, L. (2022). The use of technology in the treatment of youth with eating disorders: A scoping review. Journal of Eating Disorders, 10(1):182. doi:10.1186/s40337-022-00697-5.

Novack, K., *Dufour, R., Picard, L., Booij, L., & Chadi. N. (2022). An intensive ambulatory care program for adolescents with eating disorders combining in-person and virtual care: Protocol for a singe-site naturalistic trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research Protocols. 11(11):e37420. doi:10.2196/37420.

*Azar, N., & Booij, L. (2022). DNA Methylation as a mediator in the association between prenatal maternal stress and child mental health outcomes: Current state of knowledge. Journal of Affective Disorders, 319:142–163. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.09.008.

Khundrakpam, B., Booij, L., Seun J. Karama, J., Tohka, J., & Evans, A. (2022). Individualized prediction of future cognition using developmental changes in cortical anatomy. Neuroimage: Reports, 2(4):100127. doi:10.1016/j.ynirp.2022.100127

*Nassar, E-L., Levis, B., Neyer, M.A., Rice, D.B., Booij, L., Benedetti, A., & Thombs, B.D. (2022). Transparency and completeness of reporting of depression screening tool accuracy studies: a meta-research review of adherence to the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies statement. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 1:e1939. doi:10.1002/mpr.1939.

Steiger, H.**, Booij, L.**, Thaler, L., St-Hilaire, A., Israel, M., Casey, K.F., *Oliverio, S., *Crescenzi, O., Lee, V., Turecki, G., Joober, R., Szyf, M., & * Bréton, E. (2022). DNA methylation in people with anorexia nervosa: Epigenome-wide patterns in actively ill, long-term remitted, and healthy-eater women. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, Jun 27:1-6. doi :10.1080/15622975.2022.2089731. ** Shared first-authorship.

*Bréton, E., *Fotso-Soh, J., & Booij, L. (2022). Immunoinflammatory processes: overlapping mechanisms between obesity and eating disorders? Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 138:104688. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104688.

*Bréton, E., *Dufour, R., Coté, S.M., Dubois, L., Vitaro, F., Boivin, M., Tremblay, R.E., & Booij, L. (2022).Developmental trajectories of eating disorder symptoms: A longitudinal study from early adolescence to young adulthood. Journal of Eating Disorders. Jun 20;10(1):84. doi: 10.1186/s40337-022-00603-z.

Porter-Vignola, E., Booij, L., Dansereau-Laberge, E-M., Garel, P., *Chartier, G.B., Seni, A.G., Beauchamp, M.H., & Herba, C.M. (2022). Social cognition and depression in adolescent girls. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. Sep;76:101750. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2022.101750.

*McIver, TA., Craig, W., *Bosma, R.L., *Chiarella, J., Klassen. J., *Sandre. A., *Goegan. S., & Booij. L. (2022). Empathy, defending, and functional connectivity while witnessing social exclusion. Soc Neurosci,17(4), 352–367.  doi: 10.1080/17470919.2022.2086618

*Noyes, B., Munoz, D., Khalid-Khan, S., Brietzke, E., & Booij, L. (2022). Is subthreshold depression in adolescence clinically relevant? Journal of Affective Disorders, 309:123–130. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.04.067

Thaler, L., Booij, L., Burnham, N., Kenny, S., *Oliverio, S., Israel, M., & Steiger, H. (2022). Predictors of non-completion of a day treatment program for adults with eating disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 30(2):146–155. doi: 10.1002/erv.2879.

*Breton, É. & Booij, L. (2022). Du cerveau à l’assiette: Coup d’œil sur les troubles alimentaires. Revue Quebecoise,43(1): 1-22

*Nassar, E-L., Levis, B., Neyer, M.A., Rice, D.B., Booij, L., Benedetti, A., & Thombs, B.D.(2022). Sample size and precision of accuracy estimates in studies of depression screening tool accuracy: A meta-research review of studies published in 2018­–­2021. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 31(2): e1910. doi: 10.1002/mpr.1910.

*Nassar, E-L., Levis, B., Rice, D.B., Booij, L., Benedetti, A., & Thombs, B.D. (2022). Risk of bias from inclusion of currently diagnosed or treated individuals in studies of depression screening tool accuracy: A meta-research review of studies published in 2018–2021. General Hospital Psychiatry, 76: 25–30.

Steiger, H., Booij, L., Singer, I., *Crescenzi, O., Oliverio, S., Thaler, L., St-Hilaire, A., & Israel, M. (2022). In-person versus virtual therapy in outpatient eating-disorder treatment: A COVID-19 inspired study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 55:145-150. doi: 10.1002/eat.23655.

*Calancie, O.G., Brien, D.C, Huang, J., Coe, B.C., Booij, L., Khalid-Khan, S., & Munoz D.P. (2022). Maturation of temporal saccade prediction from childhood to adulthood: predictive saccades, reduced pupil size and blink synchronization. Journal of Neuroscience, 42(1):69-80. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0837-21.2021.

Mortaji, N., Krzeczkowski, J.E., Boylan, K., Booij, L., & Van Lieshout, R. (2021). Maternal pregnancy diet, postnatal home environment and executive function and behavior in 3- to 4-y-olds. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 114:1418-1427. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqab202.

Booij, L. *Nicolosi, M. (2021). Early childhood care, support and research: how early screening and longitudinal studies can help children thrive. J de Pediatria, S0021-7557(21)00072-3. doi:10.1016/j.jped.2021.05.001

Khundrakpam, B., *Tuerk, C., & Booij, L. (2021). Understanding heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorder: A methodological shift in neuroimaging research from investigating group differences to individual differences. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging; 6: 762–764. doi:10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.04.004

*Scardera, S., *Sacco, S., *Di Sante, J., & Booij, L. (2021). Body image-related cognitive fusion: Role of disordered eating, self-compassion and sad mood. Eating and Weight Disorders, 26: 483–490.  doi:10.1007/s40519-020-00868-w.

Wu, Y., Marc, I., Bourchard, L., Ouyang, F., Luo, Z.C., Fan, J., Dubois, L., Mâsse, B., Zhang, J., Leung, P., Liao, X. P., Herba, C., Booij, L., Shen, J., Lewin, A., Jian, H., Wang, L., Xu, J., Wu, W., Sun, W., Wu, J., Li, H., Lei, C., Korzyrski, A., Semenic, S., Chaillet, N., Masse, L., Zhan, J., Knoppers, B., Baillargeon, J. P., Velez, M., Zhang, H., Yu, Y., Yu, W., Ding, Y., Vaillancourt, C., Liu, H., Tetu, A., Fang, W., Zhao, X., Jin, Y., Liu, X., Zhang, H., Chen, Z., Hao, Y., Abdoulahab, N., Fraser, W. D., & Huang, H.(2021). Community-Family-Mother-Child Intervention Study to Prevent Childhood Obesity: Study protocol for the Sino-Canadian Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (SCHeLTI)- a randomized controlled trial. BMJ open, 1;11(4): e045192. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045192

Porter-Vignola, E., Booij, L., *Bossé-Chartier, G., Garel, P., & Herba, C. M. (2021). Emotional facial expression recognition and depression in adolescent girls: associations with clinical features. Psychiatry Research, 113777: 298:113777. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113777.

*Azar, N., Booij, L., Muckle, G., Arbuckle, T. E., Séguin, J. R., Asztalos, E., Fraser, W.D. Lanphear, B. & Bouchard, M. F. (2021). Prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and cognitive ability in early childhood. Environment International, 146: 106296. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2020.106296.

Gouin, J-P., Thayer, J. F., Deschênes, S., MacNeil, S., & Booij, L. (2021). Implicit affect, heart rate variability, and the metabolic syndrome. Psychosomatic Medicine, 83: 24–32. doi:10.1097/PSY.0000000000000879.

Lissemore, J.I., Booij, L., Leyton, M., Gravel, P., Sookman, D., Nordahl, T.E., & Benkelfat, C. (2021). Neuroimaging of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Insights into serotonergic mechanisms. In R.A.J.O. Dierckx, A. Otte, E.F.J. De Vries, A. Van Waarde, J.A. Den Boer (Eds.), PET and SPECT in psychiatry (2nd edition). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Booij, L. & Steiger, H. (2020). Applying epigenetic science to the understanding of eating disorders: A promising paradigm for research and practice. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 33: 515–520. doi:10.1097/YCO.0000000000000632.

Sansfaçon, J.**, Booij, L.**, Gauvin, L., Fletcher, E., Islam, F., Israel, M., & Steiger, H. (2020). Pre-treatment motivation and therapy outcomes in eating disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53: 1879–1900. **Shared first authorship.

Steiger, H., & Booij, L. (2020). Eating disorders, heredity and environmental activation: Getting epigenetic concepts into practice. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9: 1332. doi:10.3390/jcm9051332.

Burdo, J., Booij, L., Kahan, E., Thaler, L., Israel, M., Agellon, L.B., Nitschmann, E., Wykes, L., & Steiger, H. (2020). Plasma levels of one-carbon metabolism pathway nutrients in women with Anorexia Nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53: 1534–1538. doi:10.1002/eat.23292

Dos Santos, R.R.G., Forte, G.C., Mundstock, E., Amaral, M.A., Goecks, S., da Silveira, C.G., Amantéa, F.C., Variani, J.F., Booij, L., & Mattiello, R. (2020). Body composition parameters can better predict body image dissatisfaction than body mass index in Brazilian children and adolescents. Eating and Weight Disorders, 25: 1197–1203. doi:10.1007/s40519-019-00750-4.

Thaler, L., Brassard, S., Booij, L., Kahan, E., McGregor, K., Labbe, A., Israel, M., & Steiger, H. (2020). Methylation of the OXTR gene in women with Anorexia Nervosa: Relationship to social behavior. European Eating Disorders Review, 28: 79–86. doi:10.1002/erv.2703

*Kirkpatrick, R., Munoz, D. Khalid-Khan, S., & Booij, L. (2020). Methodological and clinical challenges associated with biomarkers for psychiatric disease: A scoping review. Journal of Psychiatric Research. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.11.023.

*Hayward, D.A., *Pomares, F.B., *Casey, K., *Ismaylova, E., *Levesque, M., *Greenlaw, K., Vitaro, F., Brendgen, M., Dionne, G., Boivin, M., Tremblay, R.E., & Booij, L. (2020). Birth weight is associated with adolescent brain development: a multi-modal imaging study in monozygotic twins. Human Brain Mapping, 41: 5228–5239. doi:10.1002/hbm.25188.

Da Estrela, C., McGrath, J., Booij, L., & Gouin, J-P. (2020). Heart rate variability, sleep quality, and depression in the context of chronic stress. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 55: 155–164. doi:10.1093/abm/kaaa039.

Manchia, M., Booij, L., Wong, J., Zepf, F., & Comai, S. (2020). Neurobiology of violence. In B. Carpiniello, C. Mencacci, & A. Vita (Eds.), Violence and mental disorders. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

*Chiarella, J., *Schumann, L., *Pomares, F.B., Frodl, T., Tozzi, L., Nemoda, Z., Yu, P., Szyf, M., Khalid-Khan, S., & Booij, L. (2020). DNA methylation differences in stress-related genes, functional connectivity and gray matter volume in depressed and healthy adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders, 271: 160–168. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.062

Arias, J., Williams, C., Raghvani, R., Aghajani, M., Baez, S., Belzung, C., Booij, L., Busatto, G., *Chiarella, J., Fu, C., Ibanez, A., Liddell, B., Lowe, L., Penninx, B., Rosa, P., & Kemp, A. (2020). The neuroscience of sadness: A multidisciplinary synthesis and collaborative review. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 111: 199–228. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.01.006

Brietzke, E., Booij, L., Wieck, A., Soares, C. N., Roberts, N., & Khalid-Khan, S. (2020). A discussion of potential clinical markers predicting anti-inflammatory treatment response in individuals with major depression. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 83: 3–4. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2019.08.197

Gouin, J-P., Wrosch, C., McGrath, J., & Booij, L. (2020). Interpersonal capitalization moderates the associations of chronic caregiving stress and depression with inflammation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 112: 104509. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.104509