The Chair of Molecular Psychiatry

The Chair of Molecular Psychiatry with its Research Department for Brain Development Disorders and Cognition in conjunction with the Laboratory for translational Neurosciences as part of the Center of Mental Health at the University Hospital Würzburg (UKW) is one of the leading institutions in the field of psychiatric neurosciences at the interface of molecular genetics, cellular neurobiology, and behavioural research.

Fields of research

Interdisciplinary and translational strategies are used to investigate the pathogenesis of developmental brain disorders and a wide range of life-spanning mental disorders, from anxiety, depression, psychotic (schizophrenia) and neurodegenerative disorders to attention deficit/hyperactivity and autism spectrum disorders and substance abuse (Kiser et al. 2015). In addition, mechanisms of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment are investigated. Current research strategies are being integrated to elucidate mechanisms and define intraneuronal signalling pathways (neuronal misregulation) and interneuronal communication (systemic dysfunction) as well as their influence on the pathophysiology of psychiatric diseases. The long-term goal is to identify signaling pathways that can be selectively controlled by novel treatment strategies ("precision medicine"). These core competences are used in cooperation with national and international partners. State-of-the-art and innovative methods are used to investigate pathogenetic mechanisms. The existing overlapping areas between the subjects neuropsychology, psycho- and neurobiology as well as child, adolescent and adult psychiatry have created new possibilities for researching the molecular and neural bases of etiopathogenesis and the long-term course of mental diseases by working on common topics and by establishing new working groups to strengthen the points of contact between the individual disciplines.

The ultimate goal is to find ways to a "precision medicine" in psychiatry for common diseases.

Working in an interdisciplinary and international team

The foundation for the pursuit of these goals is the interdisciplinary structure of the working group and its integration into a broad spectrum of local, national (e.g. Transregio 58, ERA-NET / BMBF consortia) and international collaborations (e.g.B. IMpACT, MiND, NIMH, NICHD, NHGRI, NIDA, NIAAA, Stony Brook, EMBL, Karolinska Institute, Universities of Maastricht, Nijmegen, Paris, Oxford, Shanghai, Bergen, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Lisbon, Budapest and Tartu, to name but a few). For example, IMpACT is a consortium of clinical and basic researchers from several European countries (Netherlands, Spain, Norway, UK, Sweden, Denmark), as well as from the US and Brazil, focusing on ALL aspects of ADHD over life span.


Chair: Prof. Dr. med. Klaus-Peter Lesch (Senior Professor)

Secretary: Judith Stilla
Phone: +49 931 201-77610
E-Mail: judith.nicol@

Associated Professor:

  • Dr. Daniel van den Hove, Associate Professor, University of Maastricht (Homepage)

Academic staff:

  • Dr. Olga Rivero-Martin
  • Dr. Tatyana Strekalova

PhD students:

  • HsingPing Ku, PhD student
  • Johanna Zöller, PhD student
  • Maria Vitale, PhD student
  • Evgeniy Svirin, PhD student
  • Niall Mortimer, PhD student
  • David Diouf, PhD student

Master students:

  • Judit Alhama-Riba


  • Gabriela Ortega y Schulte, TA
  • Nicole Schraud, TA
  • Julia Merk, TA


Publications of the working group can be found on pubmed, publons, orcid or in the list of publications of our hospital.

Further information can be found here: Homepage des Lehrstuhls für Molekulare Psychiatrie.

Head of Hospital