Dr. Alexander Behnke
Alexander Behnke studied psychology with a minor in industrial engineering at the TU Dresden (2008–2015) as well as Italian at Ca’Foscari Università Venezia (Italy, 2014–2015). He was awarded a university studies scholarship of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation, 2009–2015). Since 2010, he worked as a student research associate at the Personality & Individual Differences Dept. (Prof. Alexander Strobel), TU Dresden, and completed a research internship at the Institute for Work and Health (IAG) of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV, 2012–2013).
From 2015, Alexander Behnke was a research associate at the Personality & Individual Differences Dept. (Prof. Alexander Strobel), TU Dresden, and since 2016 he worked as a doctoral research fellow at the Clinical & Biological Psychology Dept. (Prof. Iris-Tatjana Kolassa) of Ulm University. Supported by a PhD scholarship of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, he dedicated his PhD studies to the occupational traumatization of Emergency Medical Services personnel. In May 2021, Alexander Behnke received his doctorate (summa cum laude) and his thesis was distinguished with the Dissertation Award of the Clemens Gabriel Foundation. In 2023, he was awarded a G.A.-Lienert Foundation Research Fellowship for a 3-month visit at the Mitochondrial Psychobiology Laboratory of Prof. Martin Picard at Columbia University, New York City.
- Pathomechanisms of stress/trauma-associated disorders such as major depression and PTSD
- Cellular, immunological, and endocrine alterations in stress and psychiatric disorders
- Occupational traumatization in frontline personnel (e.g., Emergency Medical Services)
- Pathomechanisms in major depression: Relevance for disorder severity, therapy response, and remission stability
- Inflammatory, endocrine, and cell-metabolic alterations in major depressive disorder
- Immunometabolic changes in PTSD across trauma-exposed therapy
- Occupational traumatization in the Emergency Medical Services
- Mitochondrial bioenergetics in chronic fatigue after COVID-19
Professional Funding, Awards, and Scholarships
|2023–2024||Early Career Incubator Funding, Ulm University Graduate & Professional Training Centre ProTrainU (€87,945) to investigate the crosstalk of endocrine stress signaling and immunometabolism in major depressive disorder using an ex vivo stress model (PI: A. Behnke; Co-PIs: M. Mack, M. Vujić Spasić)|
|2024||G.A.-Lienert Foundation Research Fellowship for a 3-month visit at Martin Picard’s Mitochondrial Psychobiology Laboratory, Columbia University, New York City (€3,000)|
|2024||Start-up Funding, Ulm University Graduate & Professional Training Centre ProTrainU (€36,000) to investigate the transcriptomic regulation of the immune cell metabolism in PTSD and its relevance for psychotherapy response using RNA-seq|
|2022||Start-up Funding, Ulm University Graduate & Professional Training Centre ProTrainU (€10,000) to investigate mitochondrial bioenergetics in PTSD and its association with psychotherapy response|
|2022||Clemens Gabriel Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award (€1,000)|
|2020||German Society for Psychotraumatology (DeGPT) Annual Meeting Travel Award|
|2017–2020||PhD scholarship of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation)|
|2009–2015||University studies scholarship of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation)|
|Summer 2023||Lifetime consequences of chronic and traumatic stress (B.Sc. students)|
|Aug-Sept 2022||Psychology meets systems biology: How stress and trauma influence body and mind (Kolassa, I.-T., Behnke, A., & von Bergen, M., Graduate and post-graduate course at the summer school of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, St. Johann im Ahrntal, Südtirol, Italy)|
|Winter 22/23||Etiology and therapy of traumatic stress-related mental disorders (B.Sc. students)|
|Summer 2022||Traumatic stress and coping in the Emergency Medical Services and fire brigades (Research project seminar, M.Sc. students)|
|Winter 21/22||Lifetime consequences of chronic and traumatic stress (B.Sc. students)|
|Summer 2021||Biomolecular clinical psychology (B.Sc. students)|
Assistant reviewer for Biological Psychology posters for the 2021 APS Virtual Convention (2021, May 26–27).
Assistant reviewer for Biological Psychology posters for the 32nd APS Annual Convention (2020, May 21–24, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Chicago, IL, USA.
Chair of the symposium “Intervention approaches and risk factors among members of the armed forces, combatants and emergency service personnel” at the 22. German Society for Psychotraumatology (DeGPT) Annual Meeting (2020, February 13–15), Berlin, Germany.
Ad-hoc reviewer: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity; Psychological Medicine; Psychoneuroendocrinology; Journal of Psychiatric Research; Cognitive Therapy and Research; Mental Health and Prevention; BMC Psychiatry