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Prof. Dr. Dr. Heike Tost

Translational neurogenetics of psychiatric disorders

The research interests of Prof. Tost are neural mechanisms of genetic and environmental risk factors for mental illness, neurobiology of mood and psychosis spectrum disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, autism), multimodal neuroimaging, neural plasticity, network connectivity, neuroimaging biomarkers for pharmacological challenge and therapy research.

National and international Joint Research Projects

DFG: CRC/TRR 265 “Losing and Regaining Control over Drug Intake: From Trajectories To Mechanisms To Interventions”, Deputy spokesperson, Duration: 2023 – 2027 (2nd funding phase)

  • Subproject A04 “Early life stress and AUD: identifying neural and real-worls targets for mechanism-based interventions”

DFG: CRC 1158 “Heidelberg Pain Consortium” Duration: 2023 – 2027 (3rd funding period)

  • Subproject B04 “Towards a mechanism-specific intervention of thalamo-limbic pain processing”

DFG: CRC/TRR265 “Losing and Regaining Control over Drug Intake: From Trajectories To Mechanisms To Interventions”, Deputy spokesperson, Duration: 2019 – 2023 (1st funding phase)

  • Subproject A04 “Intense characterization of triggers, modifying factors and mechanisms at course transition points in human addiction”

DFG: CRC 1158 “Heidelberg Pain Consortium” Duration: 2019 – 2023 (2nd funding period)

  • Subproject B04 “Translational studies in pain chronicity: role of corticothalamostriatal pathway in stress-sensitisation and comorbidity development”.

DFG: RTG 2350 “Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Psychosocial and Somatic Conditions Across the Lifespan”

  • Subproject B02 “ACE and Stress Sensitivity: the Modulatory Role of the Social Environment”. 2018 – 2024

DFG: RICH-GRAPH “Characterization of Neurodevelopmental Disease Trajectories using Richly Annotated Sequences of Graphs”. Duration: 2017 – 2020

Legend: DFG = German Research Foundation, BMBF = Federal Ministry of Education and Research,  CRC/TRR = transregional Collaborative Research Center, RTG = Research Training Group

Selected publications

  1. Early Social AdversityAltered Brain Functional Connectivity, and Mental Health.
    Holz NE, Berhe O, Sacu S, Schwarz E, Tesarz J, Heim CM, Tost H (2023). Biol Psychiatry. 93(5):430-441.
  2. Brain network dynamics during working memory are modulated by dopamine and diminished in schizophrenia.
    Braun U, Harneit A, Pergola G, Menara T, Schäfer A, Betzel RF, Zang Z, Schweiger JI, Zhang X, Schwarz K, Chen J, Blasi G, Bertolino A, Durstewitz D, Pasqualetti F, Schwarz E, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Bassett DS, Tost H (2021). Nat Commun. 12(1):3478.
  3. Neural Correlates of Affective Benefit From Real-life Social Contact and Implications for Psychiatric Resilience.
    Gan G, Ma R, Reichert M, Giurgiu M, Ebner-Priemer UW, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Tost H (2021). JAMA Psychiatry. 78(7):790-792.
  4. Generative network models of altered structural brain connectivity in schizophrenia.
    Zhang X, Braun U, Harneit A, Zang Z, Geiger LS, Betzel RF, Chen J, Schweiger JI, Schwarz K, Reinwald JR, Fritze S, Witt S, Rietschel M, Nöthen MM, Degenhardt F, Schwarz E, Hirjak D, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Bassett DS, Tost H (2021). Neuroimage. 2021.225:117510
  5. Neural correlates of individual differences in affective benefit of real-life urban green space exposure.
    Tost H, Reichert M, Braun U, Reinhard I, Peters R, Lautenbach S, Hoell A, Schwarz, Ph.D E, Ebner-Priemer U, Zipf A, Meyer-Lindenberg A (2019). Nat Neurosci. 22(9):1389-1393.
  6. Environmental influence in the brain, human welfare and mental health.
    Tost H, Champagne FA, Meyer-Lindenberg A (2015). Nat Neurosci. 18(10):1421-31.
  7. Puzzling over schizophrenia: Schizophrenia, social environment and the brain.
    Tost H, Meyer-Lindenberg A (2012). Nat Med. 18(2):211-3.