The scientific program of WASAD2021 will consist of Keynotes, Plenary Symposia, Industry Symposia and eLectures.

The final version of the scientific program as well as information on date and time of the sessions

and eLectures will be published in late July 2021  

Details and information on industry symposia will be published in July/August 2021.

Keynote lectures:

Keynote lecture at the Opening Ceremony on September 20, 2021, Hans Selye Lecture

The nexus of stress, addiction, and appetite regulation: A Contemporary Reformulation of the Stress Response, Mustafa al´Absi, Duluth (MN)

Chair: U. Nater, Vienna

Keynote lecture on September 21, 2021

Neuroticism and genetics, D. Rujescu, Vienna

Chair: A.J. Fallgatter, Tübingen

Keynote lecture on September 22, 2021

Stress and anxiety among children/adolescents, their parents and young adults during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Switzerland, M. Mohler-Kuo, Zurich, Switzerland

Chair: S. Walitza, Zurich

Plenary symposia 

Stress, anxiety and depression
Chair: P.Riederer, Würzburg and A. Schmitt Würzburg
1. From stress molecules toward a stress ecology of the person, F. Tretter, Munich
2. Serotonin imbalance and disorders of emotional dysregulation, A. Schmitt Würzburg
3. The riskiest psychological intervention? Positive and negative side effects of exposure for anxiety disorders, I. Heinig, Dresden
4. TBA

Stress and its consequences on cognition and self-esteem – insights from psychophysiology and neuroimaging studies

Chair: A.J. Fallgatter, Tübingen
1. Gender differences in the neurobiological response to psychosocial stress and its effects on working memory, L. Kuhn, Aachen
2. Positive self-instruction increases self-esteem and well-being following negative social evaluation, L. Kogler, Tübingen
3. Dysregulation of brain arousal: a central pathogenetic factor in depression, mania and ADHD, U. Hegerl, Frankfurt am Main
4. The effects of music on wound healing via stress regulation – preliminary findings, J. Majdandzic, Vienna

SGAD-Symposium (Swiss Society of Anxiety and Depression): Translational aspects of the impact of stress on mental health over the life span

Chair: S. Walitza, Zurich and E. Seifritz, Zurich
1. Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on media-related behavior and mental health in adolescents with pre-existent internalizing disorder, A. Werling, Zurich
2. Sleep EEG as biomarker of emotional regulation and depression across the lifespan, M. Hatzinger, Solothurn
3. Anxiety disorders in the general population: change of prevalence across a 13-year follow-up, M. Preisig, Lausanne
4. Selective mutism: The “unsafe world model", S. Melfsen, Zurich

Understanding the mechanisms of neurobiological dysfunctions on the early development of psychiatric disorders using advanced animal to human modelling approaches

Chair: S. Walitza, Zurich and T. Strekalova, Maastricht
1. Modelling ADHD: Potentials studying G x E interactions and therapy response, E. Grünblatt, Zurich
2. Mice deficient for sialyltransferase ST3GAL5 exhibit a spectrum of ADHD/ ASD-like behaviours, E. Veniaminova, Moscow

3. Predation stress causes excessive aggression in female mice with partial genetic inactivation of tryptophan hydroxylase-2: neurochemical and behavioral correlates, E. Svirin, Moscow
4. Cognitive test performance in relation to omega-3 fatty acids in pediatric Major Depression, S.Emery, Zurich

Stress, sleep and pain
Chair: I. Wilhelm, Lübeck and E.M. Kurz, Tübingen
1. The role of sleep in the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms, I. Wilhelm, Lübeck
2. Nocturnal heart rate variability in children with autism spectrum disorder, E. M. Kurz, Tübingen
3. Longitudinal associations between sleep and stress in adolescence, L. Tarokh, Berne
4. The potential impact of music listening style on pain and stress – an experimental approach, R. Maidhof, Vienna

Stress and emotion regulation in adolescent psychopathology
Chair: P.Plener, Vienna and O. Kothgassner, Vienna
1. Emotion regulation and the autonomic nervous system in adolescents psychopathology, J. König, Cologne
2. Emotion regulation and the endogenous opioid system in adolescents and young adults with NSSI, L. Störkel, Mannheim
3. Emotion regulation and autonomic reactivity to trauma narratives in adolescents, O. Kothgassner, Vienna
4. Synchrony of peripheral stress response systems in mother-child dyads – does it impact on mental health? M. Kaess, Berne

Stress and anxiety in neurodegenerative diseases (A symposium supported by the Dr. med. Edda-Neele Stiftung)
Chair: P. Riederer, Würzburg and T. Brücke, Vienna
1. Psychopathology of Parkinson´s disease, T. Brücke, Vienna
2. Kynurenines, anxiety and dementia, L. Vecsei, Szeged
3. Too nervous to sleep? – novel behavioral aspects of the intracerebroventricular streptozotocin-induced rat model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease, J. Homolak, Zagreb
4. A systematic review of thermosensation and thermoregulation in anxiety disorders, S. Fischer, Zurich

Pharmacotherapy and management of stress related and anxiety disorders
Chair: P. Riederer, Würzburg and I. Bitter, Budapest
1. Lack of normal distress: evaluation and treatment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia, I. Bitter, Budapest
2. Guiding antidepressant treatment with therapeutic drug monitoring and genetic testing, A. Menke, Bernau am Chiemsee
3. Pharmacotherapy of PTSD, A. Džubur Kulenović, Sarajevo
4. Enhanced motivation and facial reactions to interpersonal touch under stress following morphine administration, G. Silani, Vienna

Novel mechanisms and predictive responses in posttraumatic stress disorder and mouse models
Chair: R. Andero, Barcelona
1. Dynamic DNA structure states and memory flexibility, P. Marshall, Queensland
2. CRH-PVN neurons encode stress controllability and regulate defensive escape, N. Daviu, Calgary
3. PACAP-PAC1R system in females: contributions to fear learning and adaptions to stressors, R. Andero, Barcelona
4. Hippocampal activation predicts lower future PTSD symptoms, T. Jovanovic, Detroit

Stress, anxiety and genomics
Chair: A. Erhardt, Würzburg and J. Hettema, Bryan (TX)
1. PGC-PTSD GWAS Analysis, C. Nievergelt, La Jolla (CA)
2. "Hot" new data from the PGC Anxiety Group, J. Hettema, Bryan (TX)
3. Stress induced DNA-methylation changes: Focus on anxiety disorders, A. Erhardt, Würzburg
4. Stress and myelin plasticity: animal model data on anxiety-like behavior, I. Hovatta, Helsinki

Future strategies in the management of anxiety disorders
Chair: K. Domschke, Freiburg and P. Zwanzger, Wasserburg
1. New strategies in the psychopharmacology of anxiety, N. Singewald, Innsbruck
2. Virtual technologies in the treatment of anxiety, J. Diemer, Munich
3. Prevention of anxiety disorders, K. Domschke, Freiburg
4. Targeting COVID-19 associated anxiety, A. Ströhle, Berlin

Neuroscience of stress
Chair: J. Prüssner, Konstanz and V. Engert, Jena
1. Psychophysiological factors affecting emotion recognition, S. Dimitroff, Konstanz
2. The role of spcial processing abilities in acute psychosocial stress, J. Blasberg, Jena
3. Understanding pathological fears and anxieties from a behavioural neuroscience perspective - implications for mechanisms of aetiology and change, J. Richter, Greifswald
4. The Endocannabinoid System in Social Anxiety, S. Kloiber, Toronto

Everyday life stress
Chair: U. Nater, Vienna and A. Schwerdtfeger, Graz
1. Specific appraisals, unspecific physiology: HPA and SAM axis as correlates of subjective stress, threat, and challenge in daily life, M. Sicorello, Mannheim
2. Impact of Chronic Ethnic Discrimination in the Daily Life of Turkish Immigrants Living in Austria: 30-day Ambulatory Assessment Study, A. Goreis, Vienna
3. An investigation into the bi-directional association of stress and sexuality using an ecological momentary assessment approach, H. Mües, Vienna
4. Neural responses to acute stress predict chronic stress perception in daily life over 14 months – Findings from the LawSTRESS project, M. Giglberger, Regensburg

Biological markers
Chair: N. Rohleder, Erlangen and N. Ali, Vienna
1. Peripheral biomarkers of depression vulnerability during adolescence and their potential impact on brain functioning,  Anna Cattaneo, London
2. Psychobiological Effects of Chronic Ethnic Discrimination in Turkish Immigrants: Stress Responses to Standardized Face-To-Face Discrimination in the Laboratory, A. Goreis, Vienna
3. Daily life stress and the cortisol awakening response over a 14-months stress phase - Findings from the LawSTRESS project, H. Peter, Regensburg
4. HPA axis and ANS activity in the course of an internet-based psychotherapeutic intervention for depression, S. Schuhmacher, Potsdam

Social aspects of stress
Chair: G. Domes, Trier and C. Lamm, Vienna
1. The Effects of Acute Stress on Empathic Accuracy in Men and Women, J. Nitschke, Vienna
2. Acute stress increases effort discounting of self and other rewards - is prosociality under stress superficial? P. Forbes, Vienna
3. Social attention under stress. Is gaze behavior associated with the psychobiological response to acute stress? B. von Darwans, Trier
4. Perceived Social Isolation is Associated with the Cortisol Awakening Response on Workdays and Free Days in Teachers, S. Schneider, Berne

Trauma, stress and anxiety
Chair: A. Džubur Kulenović, Sarajevo and C. Jacob, Esslingen
1. Experience of maternal childhood maltreatment predicts impairment of postnatal mother-child bonding, T. Mikoteit, Solothurn
2. Coping and Social Support as Predictors of Efficient Control of Psychosocial Stress in Underage Unaccompanied Refugees in Würzburg, Germany, H. Ghafoor, Würzburg
3. Forecasting PTSD prognosis from acute post-trauma biomedical data: a machine learning multicenter cohort study, M. van Zuiden, Amsterdam
4. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity to traumatic stress to predict the development of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms - A systematic review of experimental studies, S. Engel, Berlin

COVID-19, stress and anxiety
Chair: U. Nater, Vienna and G. Silani, Vienna
1. Diurnal Dynamics of Stress and Mood in the Risk Groups during Covid-19 Lockdown - A Large Binational Ecological Momentary Assessment Study, E. Pronizius, Vienna
2. Daily quarantunes: How music listening regulates stress and mood during COVID-19 lockdown, A. Feneberg, Vienna
3. Effects of social isolation on stress, mood, and motivation: evidence from laboratory and field studies, A. Stijovic, Vienna
4. The moderating role of resilience on the relationship between the psychological impact of the COVID-19 crisis and mental health: A structural equation model approach, M. Schneider, Graz

Industry Symposia

Industry Symposium on September 21, 12.30-13.30

Janssen Neuroscience

Rapid acting antidepressants - from clinical development to treatment

Chair: S. Kasper, Vienna and D. Rujescu, Vienna

1. Clinical studies with esketamine in TRD, S. Kasper, Vienna

2. Biological and clinical routine of esketamine application, D. Rujescu, Vienna

Industry Symposium on September 22, 12.30-13.30

Heel GmbH

Stress in Science and the Clinics: Basic Insights and a Modern Approach for Diagnosis and Treatment

Chair: M. Walter, Jena

1. Social Stress and Vigilance, M. Walter, Jena

2. Stress and the serotonin system, M. Spies, Vienna


We will offer eLectures in 5 categories (Basic science, Diagnostics, Therapy, Psychology and COVID-19) on-demand via our virtual platform at the time of the congress and will consider submissions for eLectures as well.

1. Basic science

The role of HPA activity and sleep disturbances for mental health in adolescence, Maren-jo Kater, Bielefeld

HPA axis activity in the course of the menstrual cycle – a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies, Hannah Klusmann, Berlin

2. Diagnostics 

Invited eLecture: Brain characteristics associated with anxiety disorders: an update from the ENIGMA-Anxiety Working Group, Nynke Groenewold, Cape Town

3. Therapy

Invited eLecture: Role of traditional herb therapy in stress and depression, Makoto Naoi, Nagoya

4. Psychology

Invited eLecture: TBA

5. COVID-19, stress and anxiety

Online-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Improves Depression and Anxiety in Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Outbreak, Amir Jahanian Najafabadi, Bremen