Dr. G. Hasler Group (Psychiatry)

Group leader

Dr. Gregor Hasler
Psychiatric University Hospital Bern

Institution and Address

Psychiatric University Hospital, University of Bern, Bolligenstrasse 111, 3000 Bern 60
Phone: +41 31 930 95 43    e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Main goals

To elucidate the molecular basis of mood and anxiety disorders and to translate novel insights into clinical practice.

Group members and their position

4 MD (F. Akkus, S. Breit, P. Homan, A. Wolf)
3 Postdocs (M. Dietz, A. Kupferberg, Y. Mihov)
1 PhD student (S. Müller)
1 Trainee (L. Brändle)

Previous and current research

1. In previous studies, we investigated the comorbidity of depression and temporal lobe epilepsy and the role of sleep duration and excessive daytime sleepiness in mental and physical health
2. In a series of papers we investigated the role of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 in mood and anxiety disorders and addiction. In combined fMRI/PET studies and animal studies we will determine the mechanistic role of mGluR5 in these conditions.
3. Using alpha-methyl-paratyrosine, we have studied the role of catecholamine neurotransmission in reward processing in depression, bulimia nervosa and daytime sleepiness
4. Adopting methods from behavioral economics and neuroscience we are currently investigating social decision-making in various psychiatric conditions.

Future projects

1. Large imaging-genetic study to determine the role of GAD67 in GABA / fear / mood and anxiety disorders
2. Study on circadian rhythm disorders and excessive daytime sleepiness in bipolar depression

Techniques / methods

Molecular Imaging (PET, MRS, fMRI)
Pharmacological and psychological manipulations
Animal models
Genetics
Neurostimulation
Game theory-based social experiments

Selected publications

*Hasler G, Buysse DJ, Klaghofer R, Gamma A, Ajdacic V, Eich D, Rössler W, Angst J (2004) The association between short sleep duration and obesity in young adults. A 13-year prospective study Sleep 27: 661-666
*Hasler G, Bonwetsch R, Giovacchini G, Toczek MT, Bagic A, Luckenbaugh DA, Drevets WC, Theodore WH (2007) 5-HT1A receptor binding in temporal lobe epilepsy patients with and without major depression Biological Psychiatry 62:1258-1264
*Hasler G, van der Veen JW, Grillon C, Drevets W, Shen J (2010) Effect of Acute Psychological Stress on Prefrontal Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Concentration Determined by Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy American Journal of Psychiatry 167:1226-31
*Grob S, Stern J, Gamper L, Moergeli H, Milos G, Schnyder U, Hasler G (2013) Behavioral Responses to Catecholamine Depletion in Unmedicated, Remitted Subjects with Bulimia Nervosa and Healthy Subjects. Biological Psychiatry, ePub
*Akkus F, Ametamey S.M, Treyer V, Burger C, Johayem A, Umbricht D, Gomez Mancilla B, Sovago J, Buck A, Hasler G (2013) Marked global reduction in mGluR5 receptor binding in smokers and ex-smokers determined by [11C]ABP688 positron emission tomography. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110: 737-42.

Selected lectures, seminars, colloquia

Talks on the neurobiology, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy of mood and anxiety disorders at national and international meetings (ACNP, CINP, ECNP, SBP, ISAD, WPA)

Funding

Swiss National Foundation
NARSAD
Novartis