Clinical Anxiety Research

Joint research group of the Center of Mental Health, Würzburg and the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Munich

The research group focuses on etiological risk factors for the development of anxiety disorders and the biological mechanisms of action of psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions in patients with anxiety disorders.



Prof. Dr. med. Angelika Erhardt-Lehmann

E-Mail: Erhardt_A@


  • Prof. Dr. Martin Herrmann, Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Würzburg
  • Dr. André Pittig, Junior Research Group "Cognitive Control in the Context of Stress and Health", Chair of Psychology I, University of Würzburg
  • M.Sc. Katharina Hutterer (01.10.22)

Study Nurse

  • Theresa Troll

Goals and fields of research

The research group investigates genetic, epigenetic, protein-related and hormonal mechanisms in the development of pathological fears. We conduct analysis in patient cohorts with various anxiety disorders usually in comparison to healthy subjects. In addition to genetics and epigenetics, further molecular processes such as gene expression and microRNA are examined. Stressful life events are often reported as risk for development of pathological anxiety, therefore, we investigate the effects of the environment on molecular processes in patients in addition to the disease-specific factors. In order to assess therapy-related biological features, molecular examinations are carried out several times during the course of therapy in patients with different anxiety disorders. The main aim of the therapy-related studies is to identify biological factors which can be used in the clinic to predict the therapy outcome.

Collaboration Projects

  • ELAN (DFG-gefördert): Entscheidungskonflikte und Lernen in der Behandlung von Angststörungen
    PI Dr. André Pittig, Forschungsgruppe Kognitive Kontrolle, Stress und Gesundheit
    Further information can be found here.
  • Behandlung von Höhenphobie in virtueller Realität und rTMS (DFG gefördert)
    PI Prof. Martin Herrmann, Forschungsgruppe nicht-invasive Hirnstimulation
    Further information can be found here.
  • NAKO: Nationale Gesundheitskohorte; Erfassung von Gesundheits- und Krankheitsfaktoren in der Allgemeinbevölkerung
    Further information can be found here.
  • International: PGC Anxiety, PANIC, Enigma Anxiety


Head of Hospital

Prof. Dr. med. Angelika Erhardt-Lehmann

Prof. Dr. med.
Angelika Erhardt-Lehmann

W2 professor in clinical anxiety research