Titleimage: Universitäre Psychiatrische Dienste (UPD)

The Universitäre Psychiatrische Dienste (UPD) provides all aspects of secondary and tertiary treatment in psychiatry across the life span and is responsible for the academic teaching of all psychiatric disciplines at the University. The UPD is committed to progress in the understanding, treatment, and prevention in psychiatry by clinical translational research. In three separate hospitals, the Department covers psychiatric, psychological and caregiving aspects in childhood, adolescence, young to old age adults.

Information on the clinical offers can be found at: www.upd.ch


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Dr. Dr. Lukas Krone has won the 2022 Young scientist Award of the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS)

The ESRS promotes Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine in Europe. The award is presented every biennially at the European Sleep Research Congress to four young scientists for outstanding scientific contributions. In his project together with the Universities of Oxford and Freiburg im Breisgau on the sleep-modulating effects of clozapine derivatives, Lukas Krone and his doctoral student Janine Traut were able to show systematic changes in the sleep architecture and sleep-related brain activity of mice by substances that have structural similarities to the antipsychotic clozapine.

Lukas Krone has been working since 2021 as an assistant physician and "clinician scientist" at the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the of the UPD. Previously, he completed his Ph. in medicine and neuroscience at the universities of Freiburg (Germany) and Oxford (United Kingdom). (UK). For his research on regulatory mechanisms of sleep of sleep, he has already received the Young Investigator Award of the the World Sleep Society in 2020 and the Young Investigator Award of the of the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine.

Annekatrin Steinhoff receives SNSF Starting Grant

Dr. Annekatrin Steinhoff from the research department of the University Hospital for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy receives an SNSF Starting Grant (~ CHF 1.8 million) to become an assistant professor at the University of Bern and run a project on adolescent self-harm for a period of five years. The project will focus on the biopsychosocial processes associated with self-harm onset and maintenance.

Poster prize at the 22nd annual meeting of the Austrian Association of Psychiatry and Psychotherapie (ÖGPP) 28.-30.04.2022

In this work, Lydia Maderthaner and Sebastian Walther demonstrated that the subdomains of though disorders rely on different brain pattern alteration.

Successful workshop on attentional control and prospective memory

With financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation PD Dr. Jessica Peter and Prof. Dr. Matthias Kliegel brought together international and national experts as well as PhD students / Postdocs from Bern and Geneva to have a closer look into the interplay between attentional control and prospective memory. Thanks to everyone for the interesting talks and the lively discussions!

New paper on the effects of cortisol administration on craving in patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD)

In this study, Soravia, Moggi and de Quervain could show that cortisol as well as repeated in-vivo exposure to alcohol reduced craving in patients with severe AUD. Adding cortisol to in-vivo exposure might therefore be a promising approach for reducing the strength of drug-associated memories and promote the consolidation of extinction memory in patients with severe AUD.

New Paper on Sleep Neurophysiology in Childhood Onset Schizophrenia

In this study, Markovic et al., examine sleep oscillatory activity as measured via EEG in children and adolescents diagnosed with childhood onset schizophrenia. Compared to age and sex matched controls, patients had diminished high frequency (beta) power over widespread cortical regions coupled with a pattern of hyperconnectivity across brain regions. This study demonstrates the utility of the sleep EEG in studying vulnerable populations and aiding in diagnosis.

Suicide prevention project funded

Dr. Anja Gysin-Maillart and Prof. Sebastian Walther receive 1.5 Million CHF funding from the Swiss Health Promotion to run a four-year project on suicide prevention. The project will test the outreach of an effective short-term psychotherapy (ASSIP) to patients who were previously unable to participate due to immobility or fear of stigma. ASSIP home treatment will implement this short psychotherapy in the patients’ homes and include their network of caregivers.


Carole Wagnon received the Young Investigator Award

Carole Wagnon from the research group of PD Dr. Jessica Peter (Old Age Psychiatry and Psychotherapy) received the Young Investigator Award for Best Poster Presentation at the 6th Annual Brain Stimulation and Imaging Meeting. She presented the results of her PhD project on "Supporting incidental learning with transcranial direct current stimulation in healthy young individuals".

Inaugural lecture PD Dr. Jessica Peter

The inaugural lecture of PD Dr.phil. Jessica Peter will take place on March, 18 2020 at 5 p.m.
at the "Auditorium Wölfli" University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy,
Universitäre Psychiatrische Dienste Bern, Bolligenstrasse 111.

Schizophrenia Bulletin paper

"Single Session Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Ameliorates Hand Gesture Deficits in Schizophrenia"
is the title of a novel and original paper of Prof. Dr. Sebastian Walther et.al.,
In this article the effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on hand gesture performance in Schizophrenia is nicely demonstrated.


Inaugural lecture of PD Katharina Stegmayer

The inaugural lecture of PD Dr. med. Katharina Stegmayer.will take place on August, 23 2019 at 16:30
at the "Auditorium Wölfli" University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy,
Universitäre Psychiatrische Dienste Bern, Bolligenstrasse 111.


Outstanding paper on Lancet Psychiatry by Prof. Sebastian Walther et al.

"Structure and neural mechanism of catatonia" by S. Walther, K. Stegmayer, E. Wilson and S. Heckers
is the title of the remarkable paper in Lancet Psychiatry, Vol 6, Issue 7, July 2019, pages 610-619.
In this paper the syndrome of Catatonia is discussed in light of novel evidence from brain imaging studies.


Dr. Jessica Peter receives funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has awarded a project grant of 551’830 SFr to Dr. Jessica Peter. The project will investigate the influence of reward on prospective memory (i.e., the ability to remember to carry out intentions with a certain delay) in elderly individuals with a special focus on the underlying neural correlates.

Large NIMH grant for Prof. Sebastian Walther

Large NIMH grant supports research on psychomotor disturbances in depression
Prof. Sebastian Walther (University of Bern), Prof. Stewart Shankman and Prof. Vijay Mittal (both Northwestern University) are the three principal investigators of an R01 grant awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) exploring motor behavior in depression. In the next five years the large-scale longitudinal project receives 2.4 million US Dollars direct costs plus 1 million USD of indirect costs. Project title: “An examination of psychomotor disturbance in current and remitted MDD – an RDoC Study”


Prof. Sebastian Walther has been awarded a project grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)

Prof. Sebastian Walther has been awarded a project grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) of 452’000 SFr. The randomized controlled trial will explore the combination of TMS and group psychotherapy to improve gesture behavior and social functioning in psychosis.

Project title: “Combined social cognitive remediation and neurostimulation to improve nonverbal communication in Schizophrenia: a longitudinal study on neurobiology, functional capacity, and social outcome”


Grant: Stiftung Synapsis Alzheimer Forschung Schweiz

Prof. Stefan Klöppel, Prof. Christoph Nissen, Dr. Marc Züst and Marina Wunderlin from the University Hospital of Old Age Psychiatry and Psychotherapy/ the University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy have received a grant of 300’000 Swiss francs from Stiftung Synapsis. The grant was awarded for the project ‘Improving slow wave sleep to enhance memory consolidation and new learning in individuals at risk for dementia’.



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