CRC Transregio 58 (German Research Foundation): Fear, anxiety and anxiety disorders

In the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) Transregio 58 (TRR58) "Fear, anxiety and anxiety disorders", scientists from the universities of Münster, Hamburg, Mainz, and Würzburg are working together. In this interdisciplinary cooperation, we combine basic research and clinical research. The collaboration is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


The overall goal of the CRC TRR58 is to gain a better understanding of the basics of fear, anxiety, and related disorders. The CRC is divided into the following three research areas and a central cohort project.

Experimental animal studies

The aim of the animal studies is to identify mechanisms of interaction between predisposing and environmental factors that are associated with anxiety disorders. This is intended to provide a solid basis for the interpretation of data from human studies, and to generate ideas for complementary human studies.

Preclinical studies in humans

In preclinical human studies, we investigate mechanisms involved in the regulation and dynamics of fear. We work with fear conditioning paradigms: before an otherwise neutral event, participants are exposed to unpleasant stimuli that induce fear. For example, this could be a very loud noise when looking at a certain image. We use tools such as virtual reality, stress system modifications, or fright reflex modulation. For example, the increased eyelid closure in anxiety is assessed as a physiological indicator of emotional processing. In addition, we use methods such as functional MRI, EEG, or MEG. The studies aim to determine the neurobiological basis of anxiety, taking genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and life history perspectives into account.

Clinical translation and intervention

This project area is dedicated to the investigation of genetic, epigenetic, neuronal, and psychophysiological basics of anxiety disorders in order to identify biomarkers for the effectiveness of different therapeutic methods. In addition, we investigate novel interventions such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for their potential to complement standard therapies for anxiety disorders.

Functional genomics and gene-environment interactions

In this central project, we recruit volunteers for the subprojects "Preclinical Studies" and "Clinical Translation and Intervention". These volunteers are included in a psychophysiological fear conditioning, and fear generalization study to identify the influence of psychological, genetic, and epigenetic factors on both learned and generalized anxiety.

Further information

Detailed information on all subprojects can be found on the website of the CRC TRR58 and in the documentary film "When fear makes you ill – Anatomy of a feeling" (in German).

Kontakt, Sprechzeiten


Anmeldung zur ambulanten Behandlung in der Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie (PPP)
+49 931 201-77800

Anmeldung in der Hochschulambulanz
+ 49 931 3182839

Anmeldung zur ambulanten Behandlung im Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie (KJPPP)
+49 931 201-79600

E-Mail und Fax

Sekretariat PPP

+49 931 201-77020

Sekretariat Hochschulambulanz

+4931 31-828390

Sekretariat KJPPP

+49 931 201-78620



Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Angsterkrankungen | Universitätsklinikum Würzburg | Magarete-Höppel-Platz 1 |  97078 Würzburg | Deutschland