Klinik und Poliklinik für
Psychosomatik und

Univ.-Prof. Dr. J. Deckert

Functional Neuroanatomy

Work group leader

PD Dr. rer. nat. Angelika G. Schmitt-Böhrer (CV)
Center of Mental Health
Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy 
Organizational Head of the Laboratory of Translational Neuroscience of the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy
University Hospital Würzburg

Margarete-Hoeppel-Platz 1 (ehemals Fuechsleinstr. 15)
97080 Wuerzburg, Germany

Tel.:    +49 931 201 76402

Fax.:   +49 931 201 77220
Email: Schmitt_A3@ukw.de

Research focus

Pathophysiology of anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD and neurodegenerative disorders

Molecular mechanisms of emotionality, e.g. epigenetic programming, gene x environment interaction (SFB TRR58 TP A01/A05) 

  • Neuronal plasticity with focus on the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and neuromorphology in various limbic brain regions in animal models of anxiety (SFB TRR58 TP A01), depression and neurodegenerative disorders   
  • Ultra-high field magnetic resonance  neuroimaging of different animal models for fear and anxiety disorders  
  • Neurobiological basis of behavior with focus on the serotonergic, dopaminergic and glutamatergic system and their influence on learning & memory, attention and impulsivity 
  • Etiopathogenetic mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders such as the sporadic form of Alzheimer`s disease 


Descriptions of individual research projects can be found in the PhD-Students pages.

Alumni (students): 

Margherita M. Karabeg, PhD student (Biology)
Ping Sun, PhD student (Biology)

Sahab Arinrad, Master student (Biology)
Anna Kreis, Master student (Biology)
Sabrina Tews, Master student (Biomedicine)

Maria Armanidou, Bachelor student (Biology)
Julian Bankmann, Bachelor student (Biology)
Janina Böttger, Bachelor student (Biology)
Nina Henning, Bachelor student (Biology)
Michaela Groma, Bachelor student (Biology)
Eva Gerten, Bachelor student (Biology)
Jacqueline Cuber, Bachelor student (Biology)
Philip Albers, Bachelor student (Biology)

Sina Kollert, graduating student (Diploma degree, Biology)
Stephanie Pinzel, graduating student (Diploma degree, Biology)
Milena Parlak, graduating student (Diploma degree, Biology)
Linda Schmitt, graduating student (Diploma degree, Biology)
Sarah Sich, graduating student (Diploma degree, Biology)
Sissi Jakob, graduating student (Diploma degree, Biology)



Within the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy a particularly close cooperation exists with the Division of Molecular Psychiatry – Prof. Klaus-Peter Lesch’s group, but also with Dr. Dr. Matthias Fischer`s, Dr. Leif Hommer`s and Dr. Bodo Warring`s group. 

On the University level: 

  • Prof. Esther Asan: Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Wuerzburg, Koellikerstr. 6, 97070, Würzburg, Germany
  • Dr. Camelia Monoranu: Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
  • Prof. Erhard Wischmeyer and PD Dr. Frank Döring: Institute of Physiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
  • Prof. Claudia Sommer: Department of Neurology, University Hospital Wuerzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany 
  • PD Dr. Theo Pelzer: Department of Internal Medicine I, Cardiology, University Hospital Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany; Comprehensive Heart Failure Center, University Hospital Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
  • Prof. Peter Jakob: Department of Experimental Physics 5, University of Wuerzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Wuerzburg 

Nationally and internationally our research group is furthermore linked to several other research groups:

  • Prof. Andrea Schmitt: Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Nußbaumstr. 7, D-80336 Munich

  • Prof. Melita Salkovic-Petrisic: Department of Pharmacology and Croatian Institute for Brain Research, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Prof. Qian Hua: School of Preclinical Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, 11 Bei San Huan Dong Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China.
  • Prof. Dr. Edna Grünblatt: University Clinics of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zurich, Wagistrasse 12, 8952, Schlieren, Switzerland
  • Dr. Johannes Fuss: Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.  

Our research activities are embedded in several research networks: SFB-TRR 58 “Fear, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders” (link: https://campus.uni-muenster.de/sfbtrr58/the-project/), the Research training group GK emotions [link] and the Graduate School of Life Sciences GSLS [link], the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research (IZKF)

Selected publications:  

  • Sun P, Knezovic A, Parlak M, Cuber J, Karabeg MM, Deckert J, Riederer P, Hua Q, Salkovic-Petrisic M, Schmitt AG (2015). Long-term effects of intracerebroventricular streptozotocin treatment on adult neurogenesis in the rat hippocampus. Curr Alzheimer Res 12(8):772-84
  • Rivero O, Selten MM, Sich S, Popp S, Bacmeister L, Amendola E, Negwer M, Schubert D, Proft F, Kiser D, Schmitt AG, Gross C, Kolk SM, Strekalova T, van den Hove D, Resink TJ, Nadif Kasri N and Lesch KP (2015). Cadherin-13, a risk gene for ADHD and comorbid disorders, impacts GABAergic function in hippocampus and cognition. Transl Psychiatry 5, e655; doi:10.1038/tp.2015.152
  • Karabeg M M, Grauthoff S, Kollert SY, Weidner M, Heiming RS, Jansen F, Popp S, Kaiser S, Lesch KP, Sachser N, Schmitt AG*, Lewejohann L* (2013). 5-HTT deficiency affects neuroplasticity and increases stress sensitivity resulting in altered spatial learning performance in the Morris water maze but not in the Barnes maze. PlosONE Volume 8 | Issue 10 | e78238
  • Bonn M, Schmitt A, Lesch KP, Van Bockstaele EJ,  Asan E (2012). Serotonergic innervation and serotonin receptor expression of NPY-producing neurons in the rat lateral and basolateral amygdaloid nuclei. Brain Struct Funct, DOI 10.1007/s00429-012-0406-5
  • Nietzer SL*, Bonn M*, Jansen F, Heiming RS, Lewejohann L, Sachser N, Asan E*, Lesch KP*, Schmitt A* (2011). Serotonin transporter knockout and repeated social defeat stress: impact on neuronal morphology and plasticity in limbic brain areas. Behavioural Brain Research 220: 42-54
  • Van den Hove DLA*, Jakob SB*, Schraut KG, Kenis G, Schmitt A, Kneitz S, Scholz CJ, Wiescholleck V, Ortega G, Prickaerts J, Steinbusch HWM, Lesch KP (2011): Differential effects of prenatal stress in 5-Htt deficient mice: towards molecular mechanisms of gene x environment interactions. PloS ONE 6(8): e22715
  • Gutknecht L.*, Kriegebaum C.*, Waider J., Schmitt A., Lesch K.P. (2009): Spatio-temporal expression of tryptophan hydroxylase isoforms in murine and human brain: convergent data from Tph2 knockout mice. Eur Neuropsychopharmacology 19(4):266-82
  • Schmitt A.*, Benninghoff J.*, Moessner R., Rizzi M., Paizanis E., Doenitz C., Gross S., Hermann M., Gritti A., Lanfumey L., Fritzen S. Reif A., Hamon M., Murphy D.L., Vescovi A., Lesch K.P. (2007): Adult neurogenesis in serotonin transporter deficient mice. J Neural Transm 114: 1107–1119
  • Reif A.*, Fritzen S.*, Finger M., Lauer M., Schmitt A. and K.-P. Lesch (2006): Neural stem cell proliferation is decreased in schizophrenia, but not depression. Mol Psychiatry 11, 514-522
  • Asan E., Yilmazer-Hanke D.M., Eliava M., Hantsch M., Lesch K.P., Schmitt A. (2005): The corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)-system and monoaminergic afferents in the central amygdala: investigations in different mouse strains and comparison with the rat. Neuroscience 131(4): 953-967