Prof. Dr. David Slattery

Professor für Translationale Psychiatrie

Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie
Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt
Heinrich-Hoffmann-Str. 10
60528 Frankfurt am Main



Since I commenced my PhD studies, my research has centred on the neurobiology of stress-related disorders; with particular emphasis on mood and anxiety disorders.  Throughout the course of my studies in the UK, Switzerland and Germany, I have focussed on the development and utilization of state-of-the-art behavioural, pharmacological and molecular approaches to study the neuropathophysiology of these disorders and to assess novel drugs that could be used to treat them.

I performed my BBSRC Case Award PhD at the University of Bristol and Organon Laboratories Ltd (supervised by Dr Alan Hudson and Prof. David Nutt) with the title “Characterisation of a novel antidepressant: Org 34167.  During this time, amongst other studies, I demonstrated that the immediate-early genes c-fos and Egr-1 could be used for mapping the actions of psychotropics in the brain. 

Thereafter, in my first post-doctoral position at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland (supervised by Prof. John F. Cryan), the aim of my studies was the development of novel animal models for studying major depressive disorder.  Towards that end, I setup and established an intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) paradigm, with which to study the reward circuitry in the brains of rodents.  Having achieved this, I combined the ICSS paradigm with the olfactory bulbectomy model of depression, one of the few models that require chronic antidepressant administration to reverse the induced deficits.

Thereafter, I moved to the University of Regensburg, Germany (supervised by Prof. Dr. Inga Neumann) where I studied the potential role of neuropeptides, especially oxytocin and neuropeptide S in the aetiology and potential treatment of mood and anxiety-disorders.  Moreover, given the high prevalence of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, a highly understudied research topic, I performed a series of studies in which to assess the impact stress during the peripartum period has on the dam.

My research has resulted in >50 peer-reviewed articles in well-respected internationally known journals and has been highly cited (h-index 33; >3800 citations as of April 2019) and received funding from the DFG and the BMBF.  I have been a member of the ECNP since 2009 and served as a member of the Workshop Committee since then and hold a number of editorial positions for international journals.

  • 1995 – 1999        B.Sc. (Hons) Pharmacology, University of Glasgow, UK

  • 1999 – 2003        PhD (Neuropharmacology), University of Bristol, UK

  • 2004 – 2006        Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Basel, Schweiz

  • 2006 – 2011        Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, University of Regensburg

  • 2011 – 2013        Vertretungs-Professur Neurophysiologie, University of Regensburg

  • 2013 – 2016        Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, University of Regensburg

  • Seit 09/2016      W2 Prof. Translationale Psychiatrie an der Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie des Universitätsklinikums Frankfurt

Wissenschaftliche Schwerpunkte:

  •  Molekulare Grundlagen psychiatrischer Störungen am Tiermodell

 Eingeworbene Drittmittel:

  • DFG SL141/4-1 „Stress in females“ 2011 – 2015 – Principle Investigator

  • BMBF “OPTiMD – Novel strategies for the optimized treatment of depression” 2014 - 2017– Coinvestigator

  • DFG GRK 2174/1 “Neurobiology of Emotion Dysfunctions” – Projekt leiter


Editorial Positonen:

  • Acta Neuropsychiatrica (since 2011)

  • BMC Neuroscience (since 2009)

  • PLoS ONE (since 2011)

  • Neuropharmacology (Section Editor, since 2016)

  • Psychopharmacology (since 2016)

  • Scientific Reports (since 2016)

Ausgewählte Publikationen (2016 - ): 

  • Schmidtner A, Slattery DA, Gläsner J, Hiergeist A, Gryksa K, Malik V, Hellmann J, Heuser I, Baghai T, Gessner A, Rupprecht R, Di Benedetto B, Neumann ID (2019) Minocycline alters behavior, microglia and the gut microbiome in a trait-anxiety-dependent manner. Trans Psychiatry, in press.
  • Martinetz S, Meinung CP, Jurek B, von Schack D, van den Burg EH, Slattery DA, Neumann ID (2019) De Novo Protein Synthesis Mediated by the Eukaryotic Elongation Factor 2 Is Required for the Anxiolytic Effect of Oxytocin. Biol Psychiatry in press.
  • Freudenberg F, O'Leary A, Aguiar DC, Slattery DA (2018) Challenges with modelling anxiety disorders: a possible hindrance for drug discovery. Expert Opin Drug Discov 13: 279-281.
  • Jacobson LH, Vlachou S, Slattery DA, Li X, Cryan JF (2018) The Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid B Receptor in Depression and Reward. Biol Psychiatry 83: 963-976.
  • Mattern F, Post A, Solger F, O'Leary A, Slattery DA, Reif A, Haaf T (2018) Prenatal and postnatal experiences associated with epigenetic changes in the adult mouse brain. Behav Brain Res 359: 143-148.
  • Perani CV, Langgartner D, Uschold-Schmidt N, Füchsl AM, Neumann ID, Reber SO, Slattery DA (2017) Adrenal gland plasticity in lactating rats and mice is sufficient to maintain basal hypersecretion of corticosterone. Stress 19: 1-9.
  • Slattery DA, Neumann ID, Flor PJ, Zoicas I (2017) Pharmacological modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 and 7 impairs extinction of social fear in a time-point-dependent manner. Behav Brain Res 328: 57-61
  • Slattery DA and Cryan JF (2017). Modelling depression in animals: At the interface of reward and stress pathways. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 234: 1451-1465.
  • Reber SO, Slattery DA (2016) Using Stress-Based Animal Models to Understand the Mechanisms Underlying Psychiatric and Somatic Disorders. Front Psychiatry 7: 192
  • Slattery DA, Hillerer KM. (2016) The maternal brain under stress: Consequences for adaptive peripartum plasticity and its potential functional implications. Front Neuroendocrinol. 41:114-28
  • Neumann ID, Slattery DA (2016) Oxytocin in General Anxiety and Social Fear: A Translational Approach. Biol Psych 79:213-21
  • Slattery DA, Uzunov DP, Cryan JF (2016) 11-β hydroxysteroid type 1 knockout mice display an antidepressant-like phenotype in the forced swim test. Acta Neuropsychiatr. 28: 55-60