Social Phobia Research: Understanding phenotypic dimensions and the genetic architecture of social anxiety disorder

Institution: Centre for Human Genetics, University of Marburg
Applicant: Dr. Andreas Förstner
Funding line:
First and Second Applications
Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie des Universitätsklinikums Bonn, Prof. Dr. Franziska Geiser

Social anxiety disorder is a common psychiatric disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of being embarrassed and negatively judged while in the company of other people, with a consequent avoidance of social situations.
Research has shown that genetic factors make a substantial contribution to the development of social anxiety disorder (heritability estimates of 20-50%). However, the underlying biological mechanisms remain largely unknown, which hampers the development of effective treatment and prevention strategies. The aim of the project is to identify the genetic basis of social anxiety disorder and related (sub-)phenotypes via the systematic use of state-of-the-art molecular genetic methods (including genome-wide genotyping) and clinical data. The results of the project could lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

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