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Depression and other Stress Related Disorders


Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of How To Write A Research Proposal is helpful.

  • The course will be given at first year Master level. An introductory seminar will review both level and course content at the start of the course.


Period: 22 November 2021 - 17 December 2021

This advanced course combines clinical aspects with fundamental issues in neurobiology, pathogenesis and treatment of stress-related brain diseases. The course is a ‘joint venture’ of the departments of Psychiatry, Radiology and Molecular Cell Biology (section Neurophysiology).

Specific topics are:

  • Clinical phenotyping, symptoms and diagnosis of depression and anxiety.

  • Pharmacology of depression and anxiety: efficacy and new drug development.

  • Epidemiology, genetics and etiology of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Comorbidity of stress-related syndromes with other CNS diseases (e.g. Duchenne, migraine, epilepsy, anorexia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome).

  • Pathogenesis, molecular mechanisms and novel drug targets.

  • Theoretical and practical experience in stress and depression research in the departments of psychiatry, radiology (section Neuroradiology), molecular cell biology (section neurophysiology) and endocrinology (expert meetings).

  • Assignments to explore dedicated topics in the form of critical evaluations, research proposals and literature reviews.

The student will report the results in a clinical and preclinical research proposal and in two oral presentations.

This course will particularly work on:
Research competences: Defining a research question, writing a research proposal, integrate different biomedical disciplines.
Professional competences: Commitment, digesting other people’s opinions.

Course objectives

  • Reproduce knowledge of the clinical presentation of different forms of psychiatric diseases

  • Reproduce knowledge on the treatment options of psychiatric diseases

  • Reproduce different animal models for depression

  • Explain the contribution of stress in the pathogenesis of depression

  • Explain the stress system

  • Explain the genetic contribution in the pathogenesis of depression

  • Describe the putative neuronal and molecular mechanisms underlying stress-related psychiatric diseases in your own words

  • Formulate a clinical research question and present a possible approach for addressing this in a research proposal

  • Formulate a preclinical research question and present a possible approach for addressing this in a research proposal

  • Present and defend research proposals

  • Describe a scientific stress and depression related topic in laymen’s terms


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Interactive lectures, patient demonstrations, work groups, active participation in two symposiums.

Assessment method

Two written research proposals; each contribute 25% to the final mark (weight: 0.5).

One oral presentation (based on clinical written proposal) contributing 15% to the final mark (weight: 0.15).

One Poster presentation (based on preclinical written proposal) contributing 15% to the final mark (weight: 0.15).

One brief oral presentation and one newspaper article (workshops) each contributing 10% to the final mark (weight: 0.2).

Reading list


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, Course on Lab Animal Sciences and CRiP takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at