Iris-Tatjana Kolassa

Iris-Tatjana Kolassa studied Psychology from 1997-2002 at the University of Konstanz and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, USA. She completed her Ph.D. in 2004 at the University of Jena and worked afterwards as a postdoc in Clinical Psychology and Clinical & Neuropsychology at the University of Konstanz.  In 2006 she became a junior fellow (WIN-Kollegiat) of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz. In 2008 she was awarded an independent Emmy Noether Junior Research Group by the German Research Foundation and 2019 an ERC Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council. Since 2010 she is head of Clinical & Biological Psychology at Ulm University. The work group is part of the German Center for Mental Health (DZPG), site Mannheim-Heidelberg-Ulm (ZIHub), and the German Center for Child and Adolescent Health (DZKJ), site Ulm. She received several awards, among them the prestigious Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions to Psychological Science of the international Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Young Investigator Award of the German Society for Psychotraumatology (DeGPT Foerderpreis der Falk-von-Reichenbach-Stiftung) and the Science Award of the City of Ulm. As a liaison lecturer for the German Academic Scholarship Foundation Prof. Kolassa is committed to the promotion of young scientists and the interdisciplinary dialogue.


Iris-Tatjana Kolassa
Head of Dept. Clinical & Biological Psychology

Member of professorial management of the Psychotherapeutic Outpatient Clinic of the University of Ulm

Iris-Tatjana Kolassa
☎ +49-(0)731/50 26590
℻ +49-(0)731/50 26599
Π 47.2.261

Consultation hours
Semester: Tue 1:00 - 2:00p.m.
Semester break: on appointment
Please announce at sectretary's office

Research Interests

Stress-, trauma- and depression research:

  • Gene x environment interactions in the etiology, symptomatology, and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder
  • The influence of (traumatic) stress on biomolecular processes
  • Reversibility of immunometabolic processes through psychotheray and biological add-on therapies
  • The role of mitochondrial bioenergetics in the etiology and treatment of mental disorders
  • Orthomolecular Clinical Psychology: the  role of micronutrient deficits in the etiology of mental disorders
  • Inter- and transgenerational transmission of childhood maltreatment
  • The influence of maternal childhood maltreatment and lifestyle factors on developmental  imprinting during pregnancy
  • The comorbidity of mental and physical diseases (e.g. autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer)

Healthy aging and cognition research:

  • Maintenance of mental health across the lifespan
  • The influence of stress on the etiology of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease
  • Mitochondrial energy production in the context of physiological and pathological cognitive aging
  • The role of mitochondrial bioenergetics on cognitive functioning 


02/2018 Industry/University Cooperation Award 2017, Foundation Industry-University Cooperation of Ulm University

03/2015 Silver Gaming Award 2015, PIAGET Research Society for Applied Research

07/2012 Scientific Award of the City of Ulm

02/2012 Janet Taylor Spence Award For Transformative Early Career Contributions to Psychological Science, Association for Psychological Science (APS)

10/2010-09/2015 Academy Fellow (Kollegiatin) of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences

05/2008 Young Investigator Award of the Falk-von-Reichenbach Foundation, German Society for Psychotraumatology (DeGPT)

07/2007-06/2012 Member of the WIN-Kolleg of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences

12/2006-09/2010 Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz

10/2002-06/2004 Ph.D. scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation

12/1997-05/2002 Scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation

Third-party funded projects

  • 10/2020-09/2025 EU ERC Consolidator Grant “Major depression as a metabolic disorder: The role of oxygen homeostasis and mitochondrial bioenergetics in depression etiology and therapy”, Kolassa, I.-T.
  • 02/2019-12/2024 BMBF: Improving our understanding and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder related to child maltreatment (ENHANCE; coordinator: F. Leichsenring), subproject Kolassa: Preventing premature morbidity and mortality after childhood maltreatment: reversing the molecular toxicity of traumatic stress through trauma-focused therapies
  • 07/2016-06/2018 German Red Cross Ulm/Heidenheim, Occupational burdens and resilience factors in rescue workers, Kolassa, I.-T., Rojas R.
  • 11/2015-08/2018 Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH: Jigsaw Puzzles As Cognitive Enrichment, Kolassa, I.-T., Fissler, P.
  • 05/2013-04/2016 DFG research grant within the D-CH program: Gene-Environment-Interactions in the etiology, symptomatology and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. I.-T. Kolassa (DFG), D. de Quervain, A. Papassotiropoulos (SNF)
  • 01/2013-12/2016 BMBF consortium project: Stress resilience in the transgenerational transmission of childhood maltreatment. J. Fegert (Koordinator), H. Gündel, I.-T. Kolassa
  • 04/2009-03/2014 DFG Emmy Noether Junior research group within the DFG research group Science of Social Stress. Subject:  Stress- and trauma associated immunological alterations and their impact on health.
  • 06/2009-11/2011 European Commission, Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), Information Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP): Long Lasting Memories (LLM), Coordinators: Apostolos Vontas, Panagiotis Bamidis, ALTEC Research, Greece, Projekt partners Thomas Elbert & Iris-Tatjana Kolassa
  • 07/2007-06/2012 Heidelberg Academy of Science (WIN-Kolleg): Neuroplasticity and immunology in cognitive decline in aging Iris-Tatjana Kolassa (speaker), Christine von Arnim, Experimental Alzheimer research, University Hospital Ulm & Marilena Manea, Analytical Chemistry & Biopolymer structure analysis /Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz

Editorial board

  • Associate Editor Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie (10/2018-09/2023)
  • Associate Editor Zeitschrift für Psychologie (01/2020-2023)
  • Associate Editor BMC Psychiatry (03/2008-05/2018)
  • Editorial advisory board, Open Psychology (seit 07/2017)

Selected publications

  • Gumpp, A.M., Boeck, C., Behnke, A., Bach, A.M., Ramo-Fernández, L., Welz, T., Gündel, H., Karabatsiakis, A*., Kolassa, I.-T.* (2020). Childhood maltreatment is associated with changes in maternal mitochondrial bioenergetics but not in neonatal immune cells. PNAS. early online (*equally contributing)
  • Koenig, A.M., Karabatsiakis, A., Stoll, T., Wilker, S., Hennessy, T., Hill, M. M., & Kolassa, I.-T. (2018). Serum profile changes in individuals with a history of childhood maltreatment: a combined metabolite and lipid fingerprinting study. Scientific Reports, 8:e3468.
  • Heck, A., Milnik, A., Vukojevic, V., Petrovska, J., Egli, T., Singer, J., Escobar, P., Sengstag, T., Coynel, D., Freytag, V., Fastenrath, M., Demougin, P., Loos, E., Hartmann, F., Schicktanz, N., Delarue Bizzini, B., Vogler, C., Kolassa, I.T., Wilker, S., Elbert, T., Schwede, T., Beisel, C., Beerenwinkel, N., de Quervain, D.J.F., Papassotiropoulos, A. (2017). Exome sequencing of healthy phenotypic extremes links TROVE2 to emotional memory and PTSD. Nature Human Behavior, 1:e0081.
  • Boeck, C., Koenig, A. M., Schury, K., Geiger, M. L., Karabatsiakis, A., Wilker, S., Waller, C., Gündel, H., Fegert, J. M., Calzia, E., Kolassa, I.-T. (2016). Inflammation in adult women with a history of child maltreatment: the involvement of mitochondrial alterations and oxidative stress. Mitochondrion, 30, 197-207.
  • Karabatsiakis, A., Böck, C., Manrique, J.S., Kolassa, S., Calzia, E., Dietrich, D.E., Kolassa, I.-T. (2014). Mitochondrial respiration in peripheral blood mononuclear cells correlates with depressive subsymptoms and severity of major depression. Translational Psychiatry, 4:e397.
  • Morath, J., Moreno-Villanueva, M., Hamuni, G., Kolassa, S., Ruf, M., Schauer, M., Bürkle, A., Elbert, T., Kolassa, I.-T. (2014). Effects of psychotherapy on DNA strand break accumulation originating from traumatic stress. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 83, 289-297.
  • Papassotiropoulos, A., Gerhards, C., Heck, A., Ackermann, S., Aerni, A., Demougin, P., Elbert, T., Ertl, V., Gschwind, L., Hanser, E., Huynh, K.-D., Jessen, F., Kolassa, I.-T., Muhs, A., Paganetti, P., Spalek, K., Vogler, C., Pfeifer, A., de Quervain, D. (2013). Human genome-guided identification of memory-modulating drugs. PNAS, 110(46):e4369-74.
  • Wilker, S., Kolassa, S., Vogler, C., Elbert, T., Papassotiropoulos, A., de Quervain, D. J.-F., Kolassa, I.-T. (2013). The role of memory-related gene WWC1 (KIBRA) in lifetime posttraumatic stress disorder: evidence from two independent samples from African conflict regions. Biological Psychiatry, 74(9), 664-671.
  • de Quervain, D. J.-F., Kolassa, I.-T., Ackermann, S., Aerni, A., Boesiger, P., Demougin, P., Elbert, T., Ertl, V., Gschwind, L., Hadziselimovic, N., Hanser, E., Heck, E., Hieber, P., Huynh, K.-D., Klarhöfer, M., Luechinger, R., Rasch, B., Scheffler, K., Spalek, K., Stippich, C., Vogler, C., Vukojevic, V., Stetak, A. Papassotiropoulos, A.(2012). PKCα is genetically linked to emotional memory in healthy Europeans and to the risk for PTSD in heavily traumatized Rwandese. PNAS, 109(22):8746-51.
  • de Quervain, D. J.-F., Kolassa, I.-T., Ertl, V. Onyut, P. L., Neuner, F., Elbert, T., & Papassotiropoulos, A. (2007). A deletion variant of the a2b-adrenoceptor is related to emotional memory in Europeans and Africans. Nature Neuroscience, 10(9), 1137-1139