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Dr Andrea Phillipou

Senior Research Fellow
Head, Swinburne Anorexia Nervosa (SWAN) Research Group


Dr Andrea Phillipou is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Mental Health at Swinburne University, and holds honorary positions in the psychiatry departments at St Vincent's Hospital and the Austin Hospital. She leads the Swinburne Anorexia Nervosa (SWAN) Research Group, and the Body Image & Eating Disorders Research Portfolio at St Vincent's Hospital.

Dr Phillipou completed her PhD entitled 'Investigating the neurobiological and cognitive features of anorexia nervosa' at The University of Melbourne in 2015. She has since published 78 peer-reviewed journal articles and 2 book chapters. Her research has been presented on over 100 occasions at national and international conferences, and has been featured in the media on over 80 occasions. Dr Phillipou has led and collaborated on a number of research projects, receiving over $13 million in competitive research funding, including a recent NHMRC Project Grant (CIA).

Dr Phillipou’s research spans across many areas of mental health and neuroscience, but is focused predominantly on anorexia nervosa - specifically, research that is focused on improving the lives of people with anorexia nervosa. Her research uses comprehensive neurobiological, biological, psychological and sociocultural (neuro-bio-psycho-social) methods and is focused predominantly on three distinct but related streams in anorexia nervosa:

1- Understanding the factors and mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance,
2- Developing tools (e.g. biomarkers) that can be used for more accurate diagnosis, early intervention and prevention, and
3- Developing more effective treatments.

Dr Phillipou is experienced in the use of various methodologies including the use of psychiatric, psychological, neurocognitive and physiological assessments, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and neurostimulation. She holds particular expertise in eye movement assessments and eyetracking, as well as visual perception and neuroscience.

A key focus of Dr Phillipou's work involves working collaboratively on research with scientists from other disciplines, individuals with lived experience, families/carers, clinicians, service providers and not-for-profit organisations. To read more about the work undertaken by Dr Phillipou and the SWAN team, please visit:

In 2017, Dr Phillipou and her team established the Body Image & Related Disorders (BIRD) Conference. The 3rd biennial conference will be held on Friday 12th November 2021. For more information, please visit:

If you are interested in participating in research related to anorexia nervosa, please contact Dr Phillipou via email or phone, or use the following link to read more about some of our current studies:

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund our research in anorexia nervosa, please contact Dr Phillipou.

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.


Also published as: Phillipou, Andrea; Phillipou, A.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2020: The gut microbiome and depression in anorexia nervosa *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2020: Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth mental health *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2019: Establishing a biomarker for anorexia nervosa *; NHMRC Project Grants
  • 2019: Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2018: Identifying the physical and psychological factors involved in poor sleep in anorexia nervosa *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2018: The impact of depression on the cardiovascular and autonomic profile in people with anorexia nervosa *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2018: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for Anorexia Nervosa *; Swiss Anorexia Nervosa Foundation Fund Scheme
  • 2018: Travel to European Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) 2018 *; Centre for Mental Health - Internal contributions
  • 2017: An investigation of neurocognitive abnormalities in anorexia nervosa. *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2017: Investigating the relationship between glutathione, mood and memory *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant

* Chief Investigator