Klinik und Poliklinik für
Psychosomatik und

Univ.-Prof. Dr. J. Deckert

Psychiatrie International - Psychiatry International

The Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy has a longstanding tradition of hosting researchers from all over the world. They came not only from European countries such as Austria, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, Estland, Croatia, Bosnia, Brazil, Greece and Turkey, but also from countries on other continents such as Argentina, Australia, China, India, Israel and Japan.
At present, several programs are specifically dedicated to offer positions for international scientists such as the Würzburg Graduate School of Life Sciences as part of the German Excellence Initiative (link), the DFG-funded Research Training Group 1253 on "Emotions" (link) and the DAAD Program on the Academic Stability Pact South East Europe (link).
We are actively encouraging applications by PhD students and post-docs from outside Germany as we strongly believe that in a global world not only we as hosts and our foreign scientists as guests, but finally also our patients will profit from joint research.
Profiles and research interests of some of our international guest scientist you can find below.

Benjamin Aboagye

Benjamin Aboagye

Research Interests: Neurobiological basis of affective disorder, especially depression disorders using mice.
Research support: DAAD - Ministry of Education, Ghana; Laboratory for Translational Neuroscience (Prof. Dr. K.-P. Lesch)
Reason for coming to Würzburg: I have great interest in studying the role played by serotonin in the pathogenesis of Depression and Anxiety disorders. The myriad of contributions made in this field, with regards to research publications, by Prof. K.-P. Lesch and his research team made me consider University of Würzburg as the ideal destination for my study. I hope to increase my knowledge and understanding of neurobiology of affective disorders as I continue to work in the Laboratory for Translational Neuroscience, UoW.

Dr. Ilaria Balossi

Dr. Ilaria Balossi (Clinician)

Research interests: Clinician, current main focus substance abuse/addictive disorders
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: International experience, possibility of focussing in different clinical fields.

Ozan Baytaş

Ozan Baytaş (Bachelor student)

Research Interests: Molecular Neurobiology, Neurobehavioral Genetics, Psychiatric Disorders
Research support: Erasmus SMP Internship
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: I had heard of Prof. Lesch from his articles and an investigator from Boğaziçi University in Turkey, who was familiar with his work. I decided that a summer research at Prof. Lesch's Laboratory of Translational Neuroscience would be most ideal for shaping my ideas about future graduate studies. Würzburg is also a very nice city to live in with its beautiful tourist attractions.

Andrea Forero

Andrea Forero (PhD student)

Research interests: Neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, behavioral study of animal models for neuropsychiatric disorders.
Research support: Doctoral fellowship from the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS), University of Würzburg
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: I was looking for an international environment that would focus on collaborative and integrative work in the molecular and cellular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. For this reason I decided to join Prof. Lesch’s group, since its research interests are of great interest to me, and it places great importance in woking together with other research groups in Europe and though out the world.

Dr. A. Alttoa

Olga Rivero Martín (Postdoc)

Research interests: Cellular neurobiology, the mouse as an animal model for psychiatric diseases (such as ADHD), role of cell adhesion proteins in brain development and function.
Research support: Postdoctoral fellowship from the Government of Spain.
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: It is a great opportunity for me to enrich my scientific background in neurobiology, and also to enjoy the beautiful city of Würzburg.

Niall Mortimer

Niall Mortimer (PhD student)

Research interests: Role of gene-by-environment interactions in pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders
Research support
: ESR funding from Marie Sklodowska-Curie project MiND, European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
Reasons for coming to Würzburg
: I moved to Würzburg to work on high-quality research projects investigating neurodevelopmental disorders in a globally important research group. I was also excited by the opportunity to experience difficult cultures and become a member of the large-scale international MiND network.

Alexander Trofimov

Alexander Trofimov

Research interests: neuroimmunochemistry, molecular mechanisms of learning and memory; my current PhD project is aimed at the investigation of the effects of early life immune challenges on the development of cognitive functions in adulthood. 
Research support: Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg.
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: due to close scientific relationship between my research group at the Institute of Experimental Medicine (Saint Petersburg, Russia) and the research group of Dr. Tatyana Strekalova at the Institute of Physiologically Active Substances (Chernogolovka, Russia), who for a long time has been collaborating with Professor K.P. Lesch (Head of the Division of Molecular Psychiatry; University Hospital of Würzburg), I was invited to come to the laboratory of the Department of Psychiatry. During my stay I will train for immunohistochemical techniques and carry out an experiment investigating the effects of antihistamine drug Dimebon on adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory.

It is a great honor for me to work in one of the leading, exceptionally well-organized laboratories with very friendly and highly educated and skilled colleagues. I am also very pleased to have an opportunity to visit a city such as Würzburg which combines a charm and beauty of medieval streets and buildings with extremely wide possibilities for modern scientific activities.

Daniël van den Hove

Daniël van den Hove (Assistant Professor)

Research interests: Neurobiology of Psychiatric Disorders, Developmental Neuroscience, Gene x Environment interactions, Epigenetics
Research support: SFB TRR 58, Internationale Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (ISAO)
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: As a collaboration between Maastricht University (The Netherlands) and the University of Würzburg, Daniël van den Hove is investigating the role of gene x environment interactions, and their underlying epigenetic mechanisms, in the pathophysiology of various psychiatric disorders like major depression, panic disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.


Aet Alttoa

Dr. Aet Alttoa, PhD (Post doc)

Research interests: Neurobiology of affective disorders using animal models
Research support: Psychiatric Neurobiology program (Prof. Reif), Laboratory of Translational Neuroscience (Prof. Lesch)
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: There is a long-standing close partnership between the working groups in my home university (the Psychophysiology Unit led by Prof. Harro in the University of Tartu, Estonia), and the working group led by Prof. Lesch, so Würzburg was quite an obvious choice to apply for the post doc position. My year here will hopefully add a preclinical aspect to this collaboration that so far has focused on the psychiatric genetics in human studies.

Manish Asthana

Dr. Manish Asthana (PhD Student)

Research interest: Anxiety related disorders; Emotion and Cognition interaction & Cognitive Disorder

Research support: Gk-Emotion
Reason for coming to Würzburg: To attain doctoral degree and to pursue a class of research.

He received his Doctoral degree in Life Science in 2013 from University of Wuerzburg, Germany. He has recently completed his first postdoctorate from Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Currently, Manish Asthana is in Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur on a postdoctoral position in Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He can be contacted at AsthanaKM (at) gmail (dot) com.

Victoria Cabello González

Esin Candemir (Master student)

Research interests: Neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, gene x environment interactions in affective disorders
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: I have become familiar with the great research opportunuties and pleasant hospitality of the UoW during my internship at the laboratory led by Prof. Reif at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, in 2010.

I believe that my education at the UoW will help me to meet my goals by improving my experience on neurobiology of psychiatric disorders and by giving me a wider perspective on research. Beyond the learning science, as an international student I can say that Würzburg is pretty easy to get used to live in and great with its international atmosphere.

Shinji Ono

Shinji Ono (Postdoc, medical doctor)

Research interests: Genetics of inherited diseases. I had worked at Nagasaki University Hospital, Japan, as a researcher as well as a clinical doctor in psychiatry. During working in Japan, I have researched the genetics of several diseases such as paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia, schizophrenia and autistic spectrum disorders.

Research support: Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, SENSHIN Medical Research Foundation and SFB TR58.
Reasons for coming to Würzburg
: As a collaboration between Nagasaki University and the University of Wuerzburg on the genetics of anxiety disorders and schizophrenia.

Dr. A. Alttoa

Dr. Sabina Šahbegović  (Postdoc)

Position: Clinician 

Research interests: Currently we are working on a project that joined three south-eastern Europe countries(Bosnia and Herzegowina,Croatia and Kosovo) with Wuerzburg. The present project for the first time aims at an integrative investigation of the role of MAO-A related (epi-)genetic variation in the pathogenesis of PTSD and/or the biological mediation of traumatic events. Further my interests reaches into the field of child and adolescent psychiatry . 

Research support: DAAD,Department of Psychiatry University Clinical Center Sarajevo

Reasons for coming to Würzburg: During my first stay in Wuerzburg I have  attended the GK EMOTIONS Summer school, which has been a great opportunity to get informed about new research fields  my young colleagues are working on. With the unconditional help of prof.Deckert I had also the opportunity to visit  all wards of the clinic, this has shown as a great experience for my clinical work. During my second stay I have been educated in DNA extraction, this method I am currently using at my home clinic for the requirements of our project. 

Ping Sun

Ping Sun (PhD Student)

Research interests: Neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders with focus on neurodegenerative disorders; Adult Neurogenesis.
Research support
: Fellowship from the Government of China.
Reasons for coming to Würzburg:
There is an upcoming collaboration between the research group of Prof. Qian Hua who was my supervisor during my master period in China (Bejing) and the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Würzburg. It is a great possibility to learn new interesting methods and to broaden my scientific background, and to attain my doctoral degree. Würzburg is a beautiful city and I could experience a completely different culture from China.

Yan Yan

Yan Yan (PhD student)

Research interests: Neuroplasticity and angiogenesis in the brain of a mouse model for Alzheimer`s disease treated by Chinese medicine herbs
Research support: Fellowship from China Scholarship Council
Reasons for coming to Würzburg: As a joint PhD student I will study here for just one year from Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014. It is a great opportunity for me to meet my goal by learning advanced research methods and technology. I hope the collaboration between my home university (Beijing University of Chinese Medicine) and the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Würzburg will be more and more frequent in the future