Prof. Dr. Ulrike Ehlert
Launched in 1999, our main research focus is on psychosocial stress and its biological mediators on health functioning during different phases in human life (prenatal, childhood, in young adults, and in adults). We investigate stress in naturalistic settings and laboratory studies in healthy persons and in people suffering from different medical diseases and/or functional disorders.
In our studies, we also assess psychobiological mediators of the stress response. Among other things, we measure:
- Hormonal mediators such as the hormones of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal – HPA – axis (such as cortisol) and of the autonomic nervous system (such as norepinephrine)
- Immune parameters such as natural killer cells and cytokines
- Functional genetic parameters.
In this way, we hope to identify psychobiological mechanisms which might mediate stress and medical disorders.
In our treatment focus, we apply these results to cognitive behavioral therapy in order to prevent, diagnose, and treat psychological disorders and/or medical diseases following the principles of behavioral medicine.