The Summer Course on Fear, Anxiety, Obsessions & Trauma will take place from 28 June – 3 July 2020 in Villa Finaly, Florence.

Application deadline: 15 May 2020.

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Summer Course on Fear, Anxiety, Obsessions & Trauma

The next Summer Course on Fear, Anxiety, Obsessions & Trauma will be held in Florence, Italy from 28 June to 3 July 2020. The deadline for applications is 15 May 2020.
Click here for the program!

Lectures and PBL sessions
The Summer Course on Fear, Anxiety, Obsessions & Trauma aims at an in-depth analysis of the latest developments within the field of anxiety at large.
It’s is a combination of lectures and problem-based learning workshops. The mornings start with an introductory lecture followed by an accompanying workshop. These workshops are PBL sessions where students are given one or more assignments pertaining to the morning lecture. Students will work in small groups on assignments and discuss topics related to the theme of the lecture. Each group will summarize their results in a presentation, that is to be presented at the plenary session on Friday. The assignments contain elements of fundamental neuroscience as well as clinical applications.

Special Lectures
The afternoons are reserved for Special Lectures, for which renowned scientists are invited to give a teaching lecture on their field of expertise. The goal of the special lectures is to put known evidence in a new perspective and to highlight recent developments in the field, and to broaden the students’ horizon with interdisciplinary and translational approaches.

This Summer Course, special lectures are (abstracts will follow soon):

“Affective psychopathology"

Elisabeth Binder (Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich)

Elisabeth Binder has studied Medicine at the University of Vienna, Austria and Neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, USA. Following a postdoctoral training at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany, she returned to Emory University as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Human Genetics. In 2007, she was appointed as research group leader at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry within the Minerva Program of the Max-Planck Society. Since August 2013, Elisabeth Binder is the director of the Department of Translational Research in Psychiatry at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry. She also holds an appointment as Full Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. Her main research interests are the identification of molecular moderators of the response to environmental factors, with a focus on early trauma and gene x environment interactions. She studies how such factors influence trajectories to psychiatric disease or well-being to ultimately use this information for novel prevention and treatment strategies.

“Training the brain to be social: lessons to be learnt from autism"

Isabel Dziobek (Humboldt University of Berlin)

Isabel Dziobek’s interests and works lie in the field of social cognition as well as social cognitive and affective neuroscience, focussing on empathy, emotion processing, and mindreading processes. She has been conducting studies in clinical populations involving social dysfunction such as autism and borderline personality disorder. As an experimental psychologist and psychotherapist (CBT) she is interested in both, understanding the mechanisms of (dis)order in social information processing and in the development of treatment options for those with respective impairments. The methods that she uses encompass movement and video-based tests and trainings of social cognition, structural and functional MRI, eye tracking, and peripheral physiology measures such as skin conductance and heart rate assessments. 

Dr. Dziobek got her diploma in Psychology from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and continued to do a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at the New York University School of Medicine from 2001-2005, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. From 2009-2014 she headed the junior research group “Understanding Interaffectivity” at Freie Universit Berlin and since 2014 she has been Professor at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She has published more than 100 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, has conducted numerous multicenter third-party funded studies and received several awards for her work, among others the prestigious Charlotte and Karl-Bühler Price of the German Society for Pychology in 2014. 

“Neurobiology of fear and trauma memory"

Erno Hermans (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

Dr. Erno Hermans' research group conducts human research at the interface of basic neuroscience and psychiatry, with a focus on understanding how exposure to stressors results in short-term and long-term (mal)adaptation. He combines human functional neuroimaging with endocrine measures, autonomic psychophysiology, pharmacological manipulations, genetics, and experimental behavioral paradigms, in both healthy volunteers and patients, with the ultimate goal to advance understanding, treatment, and prevention of stress-related psychopathology. He currently holds a position as Associate Professor at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and Radboud university medical center. He was awarded an ERC Consolidator grant for a project entitled STRESNET: Stress resilience and network feedback training. This project aims to develop new strategies to prevent negative consequences of stress exposure. He is also a collaborator and work package leader on a European Horizon 2020 consortium project named DynaMORE: Dynamic Modeling of Resilience, which aims to develop computer models to predict and promote mental well-being.

Dissertation Defences
On Wednesday afternoon our graduation candidates come to the course to defend their Master’s dissertations. Each will give a short presentation on the results of their project, followed by a discussion with the professors who will ask them critical questions about their work. The day ends with the official graduation ceremony for the candidates who pass the defence.

Workshop Presentation Skills

Being able to give a good and concise presentation is an important scientific skill. This workshop will be guided by one of the faculty members who will give the students important advice on the way of presenting and on the form of the slides. 

Research Methodology Workshop

The goal of this workshop is to discuss methodological issues in affective disorders and to tie it to current and future research that the participants are planning.  The students will be given an assignment and will have to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation  by following specified instructions.