The scientific program of WASAD2021 will consist of Keynotes, Plenary Symposia, Industry Symposia and eLectures.

The final version of the scientific program as well as information on date and time of the sessions and eLectures will be published

in July 2021 when submitted abstracts are evaluated. 

Details and information on industry symposia will be published in July/August 2021.

Keynote lectures:

Keynote lecture at the Opening Ceremony on September 20, 2021, Hans Selye Lecture

The nexus of stress, addiction, and appetite regulation: A Contemporary Reformulation of the Stress Response, Mustafa al´Absi, Duluth (MN)

Keynote lecture on September 21, 2021

Neuroticism and genetics, D. Rujescu, Halle

Keynote lecture on September 22, 2021

Stress and anxiety among children/adolescents, their parents and young adults during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Switzerland, M. Mohler-Kuo, Zurich, Switzerland

Plenary symposia

(confirmed and planned onsite symposia as of June 9, 2021):

Stress, anxiety and depression (confirmed)
Chair: P.Riederer, Würzburg and TBA
1. Stress, anxiety and depression, H. Moises, Frankfurt
2. Is anxiety inflammation driven? N. Müller, Munich
3. Serotonin imbalance and disorders of emotional dysregulation, A. Schmitt Würzburg
4. Selected from oral presentations

Stress and its consequences on cognition and self-esteem – insights from psychophysiology and neuroimaging studies (confirmed)
Chair: B. Derntl, Tübingen and A.J. Fallgatter, Tübingen
1. Gender differences in the neurobiological response to psychosocial stress and its effects on working memory, L. Kuhn, Aachen
2. Positive self-instruction increases self-esteem and well-being following negative social evaluation, Lydia Kogler, Tübingen
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations

Stress and sleep (confirmed)
Chair: I. Wilhelm, Lübeck and E.M. Kurz, Tübingen
1. The role of sleep in the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms, I. Wilhelm, Lübeck
2. Nocturnal heart rate variability in children with autism spectrum disorder, E. M. Kurz, Tübingen
3. Longitudinal associations between sleep and stress in adolescence, L. Tarokh, Berne
4. Selected from oral presentations

Stress and emotion regulation in adolescent psychopathology (confirmed)
Chair: P.Plener, Vienna and TBA
1. Emotion regulation and the autonomic nervous system in adolescents psychopathology, J. König, Mainz
2. Emotion regulation and the endogenous opioid system in adolescents and young adults with NSSI, C. Schmahl, Mannheim
3. Emotion regulation and autonomic reactivity to trauma narratives in adolescents, O. Kothgassner, Vienna
4. Synchrony of peripheral stress response systems in mother-child dyads – does it impact on mental health? M. Kaess, Berne

Stress and anxiety in neurodegenerative diseases (confirmed)
Chair: P. Riederer, Würzburg and T. Brücke, Vienna
1. Psychopathology of Parkinson´s disease, T. Brücke, Vienna
2. Kynurenines, anxiety and dementia, L. Vecsei, Szeged
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations

Pharmacotherapy of stress related and anxiety disorders (confirmed)
Chair: P. Riederer, Würzburg and TBA
1. Lack of normal distress: evaluation and treatment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia, I. Bitter, Budapest
2. TBA
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations

Novel mechanisms and predictive responses in posttraumatic stress disorder and mouse models (confirmed)
Chair: M. Schmidt, Munich and R. Andero, Barcelona
1. Dynamic DNA structure states and memory flexibility, P. Marshall, Queensland
2. CRH-PVN neurons encode stress controllability and regulate defensive escape, N. Davius, Calgary
3. PACAP-PAC1R system in females: contributions to fear learning and adaptions to stressors, R. Andero, Barcelona
4. Hippocampal activation predicts lower future PTSD symptoms, T. Jovanovic, Detroit

Stress, anxiety and genomics (confirmed)
Chair: A. Erhardt, Würzburg and J. Hettema, Bryan (TX)
1. PGC-PTSD GWAS Analysis, C. Nievergelt, La Jolla (CA)
2. "Hot" new data from the PGC Anxiety Group, J. Hettema, Bryan (TX)
3. Stress induced DNA-methylation changes: Focus on anxiety disorders, A. Erhardt, Würzburg
4. Stress and myelin plasticity: animal model data on anxiety-like behavior, I. Hovatta, Helsinki

Future strategies in the management of anxiety disorders (confirmed)
Chair: K. Domschke, Freiburg and P. Zwanzger, Wasserburg
1. New strategies in the psychopharmacology of anxiety, N. Singewald, Innsbruck
2. Virtual technologies in the treatment of anxiety, J. Diemer, Munich
3. Prevention of anxiety disorders, K. Domschke, Freiburg
4. Targeting COVID-19 associated anxiety, A. Ströhle, Berlin

Neuroscience of stress (confirmed)
Chair: J. Prüssner, Konstanz and V. Engert, Jena
1. Psychophysiological factors affecting emotion recognition, S. Dimitroff, Konstanz
2. The role of spcial processing abilities in acute psychosocial stress, J. Blasberg, Jena
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations

Everyday life stress (confirmed)
Chair: U. Nater, Vienna and A. Schwerdtfeger, Graz
1. Specific appraisals, unspecific physiology: HPA and SAM axis as correlates of subjective stress, threat, and challenge in daily life, M. Sicorello, Mannheim
2. TBA
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations

Biological markers (confirmed)
Chair: TBA
1. TBA
2. TBA
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations

Social aspects of stress (confirmed)
Chair: G. Domes, Trier & Claus Lamm, Wien
1. Acute stress increases effort discounting of self and other rewards - is prosociality under stress superficial? P. Forbes, Wien
2.  Social attention under stress. Is gaze behavior associated with the psychobiological response to acute stress? B. von Darwans, Trier
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations

PTSD (planned)
Chair: A. Džubur Kulenović and TBA
1. TBA
2. TBA
3. Selected from oral presentations
4. Selected from oral presentations


We will offer eLectures in 5 categories (Basic science, Diagnostics, Therapy, Psychology and COVID-19) on-demand via our virtual platform at the time of the congress and will consider submissions for eLectures as well.

1. Basic science

Invited eLecture: TBA

2. Diagnostics 

Invited eLecture: Brain morphometry in anxiety disorders: New results from ENIGMA-Anxiety, Nynke Groenewold, Cape Town

3. Therapy

Invited eLecture: Role of traditional herb therapy in stress and depression, Makoto Naoi, Nagoya

4. Psychology

Invited eLecture: TBA

5. COVID-19, stress and anxiety

Invited eLecture: TBA