• Hector Fellows

    Distinguished researchers in STEM fields.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Elbert

Professor for Clinical and Neuropsychology, University of Konstanz

Hector Fellow since 2009

Thomas Elbert is Professor Emeritus for Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology at the University of Konstanz.

He investigates the consequences of traumatic stress and the psychological genesis of the readiness to use violence and kill. In the laboratory and in conflict areas he explores adaptation and maladaptation of mind, brain and body in reaction to trauma and develops specific therapeutic treatments.

His research is currently supported by the European Research Council (ERC), the DRCongo government and the World Bank. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and holds honorary professorships at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Uganda) and the Université Lumiere (Burundi).

His awards include the German Psychology Prize and, together with Maggie Schauer, he was awarded the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Prize for 2016. As a founding member of the non-profit organization vivo international he works to overcome and prevent traumatic stress and its consequences in war zones and of refugees.

Research fields

Clinical Psychology / Behavioral Neuroscience

  • Investigation of the impairments through traumatic experiences of stress and the improvements in the possibilities to cure mental and physical ailments caused by this with a main focus on help in the field of refugees.
  • Studying the reasons for human disposition to violence and killing, as well as researching the possibilities to detract members of armed groups from the vicious circle of violence.

For that matter we consider changes in the epigenome, in the organization of the brain and in the behavior as well as in the field of cognitive and emotional structures.

These studies are realized in laboratory experiments as well as in conflict and crisis regions.


Stress & Epigenetics: How fishes contribute to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder – An interdisciplinary research project by Prof. Dr. Axel Meyer & Prof. Dr. Thomas Elbert

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