Cognition; Emotions; Gastroenterology; Hypnosis; Microbiota; Mindfulness; Psychoneuroimmunology; Psychosomatic Medicine; Relaxation; Resilience, Psychological
My key research interests relate to mind-body connections and psychological resilience in the realm of neuro-gastroenterology and psychosomatics. Inspired by other researchers, and patients with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel diseases, in the focus of my work stands the investigation of psychological, psychophysiological, and molecular mechanisms of health and wellbeing. Arising research questions relate to psychological appraisals, pain, emotion regulation, resilience and wellbeing from the perspective of positive psychology; psychophysiological and autonomous nervous system patterns of stress reactivity; and their interplay with the immune system, inflammatory processes, gut permeability, and microbiota. An integration of these psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrine-host-microbiota levels is attempted by concepts such as the brain-gut-microbiota axis. Therapeutic clinical application and further study of the named connections by relaxation response eliciting techniques, mindfulness and hypnosis.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
Self-report data, psychological assessment, factor analysis; hypnosis; heart rate variability; biomarkers of gastrointestinal inflammation (Calprotectin, S100A12) and permeability (Zonulin); bile acids; inflammatory cytokines; tryptophan metabolism; gut microbial analyses via 16s rRNA sequencing (QIIME pipeline); machine learning.