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Rene Hurlemann, M.Sc., M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor


Rene Hurlemann completed his M.D. at the University of Bonn, Germany, in 2001, with a thesis on the timing of intracranial memory-related ERPs in temporal lobe epilepsy. Later, he focused on emotion-memory interactions and received his M.Sc. (2006) and Ph.D. (2007) from Maastricht University. Since completing his residency in 2008 he has served as attending physician for the Department of Psychiatry (Chair: Professor Wolfgang Maier) at the University of Bonn and carried on full-time clinical responsibilities running inpatient and outpatient Psychiatry clinics, 24/7 emergency call and resident teaching duties. In 2015, he has been appointed Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry. As clinician scientist, he is committed to research in the field of psychiatric neuroscience, with a methodological emphasis on pharmacological fMRI and MRI-navigated TMS. He is principle investigator of the “Neuromodulation of Emotion (NEMO)“ research group, for which he obtained a 1.3 million Euro starting grant by the Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research, and Technology of the German State of North-Rhine Westfalia (MIWFT) and the University of Bonn. His current research is focused on developing cutting-edge experimental therapies for anxiety, autism, depression, and (prodromal) schizophrenia. He has won several awards and stipends including the 2008 Gerd-Huber Award for advances in neuroimaging of schizophrenia and the 2013 Helen C. Levitt Endowed Annual Visiting Professorship at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Furthermore, he is Visiting Associate in Psychology at Caltech (California Institute of Technology), where he studies the causes and consequences of human amygdala dysfunction. In his present position as Associate Professor and Head of the Medical Psychology Division, he is dedicated to teaching undergraduate medical and neuroscience students. In addition, he supports and supervises undergraduate and graduate students undertaking their thesis research towards B.Sc., M.D., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in his lab. In 2010, he was named Associate Director of the Master in Affective Neuroscience joint degree program from the Universities of Maastricht and Florence. Moreover, he serves as ad-hoc referee for >10 international public funding agencies and >50 international peer-reviewed journals. He is member of several professional societies including the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), and the Society of Biological Psychiatry (SoBP), and associate member of the Faculty of 1000 Post-Publication Peer Review Board of Psychiatry.


Related links and articles of interest:

  • Medical Psychology Division, University of Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany (content in German) Link 
  • Department of Psychiatry, University of Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany (content in German) Link
  • International Master in Affective Neuroscience Program Link 
  • News Focus: The promise and perils of oxytocin. Science (2013) 339: 267 - 269 PDF 
  • Google Scholar Citations Profile Link 
  • ORCID Identifier: 0000-0003-2628-565X Link
  • ResearcherID Identifier: G-4164-2012 Link


Representative publications as first or senior author


  • Hurlemann R, Hawellek B, Matusch A, Kolsch H, Wollersen H, Madea B, Vogeley K, Maier W, Dolan RJ (2005) Noradrenergic modulation of emotion-induced forgetting and remembering. The Journal of Neuroscience 25: 6343 - 6349 [IF 7.506] PDF 
  • Kukolja J, Schlaepfer TE, Keysers C, Klingmüller D, Maier W, Fink GR, Hurlemann R  (2008) Modeling a negative response bias in the human amygdala by noradrenergic–glucocorticoid interactions. The Journal of Neuroscience 28: 12868 - 12876 [IF 7.452] PDF Supporting Information Link 
  • Onur OA, Schlaepfer TE, Kukolja J, Bauer A, Jeung H, Patin A, Otte DM, Shah NJ, Maier W, Kendrick KM, Fink GR, Hurlemann R (2010) The NMDA receptor co-agonist D-cycloserine facilitates declarative learning and hippocampal activity in humans. Biological Psychiatry 67: 1205 - 1211 [IF 8.674] PDF Supporting Information Link
  • Hurlemann R, Patin A, Onur OA, Cohen MX, Baumgartner T, Metzler S, Dziobek I, Gallinat J, Wagner M, Maier W, Kendrick KM (2010) Oxytocin enhances amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience 30: 4999 - 5007 [IF 7.271] PDF Supporting Information Link 
    • Research in Germany - Land of Ideas PDF
    • Research Highlight: Nature (2010) 464: 1107 PDF 
    • Journal Club Feature: The Journal of Neuroscience (2010) 30: 9347 - 9348 PDF & PDF 
  • Striepens N, Kendrick KM, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2011) Prosocial effects of oxytocin and clinical evidence for its therapeutic potential. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 32: 426 - 450 [IF 11.429] PDF
  • Becker B, Mihov Y, Scheele D, Kendrick KM, Feinstein JS, Matusch A, Aydin M, Reich H, Urbach H, Oros-Peusquens AM, Shah NJ, Kunz WS, Schlaepfer TE, Zilles K, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2012) Fear processing and social networking in the absence of a functional amygdala. Biological Psychiatry 72: 70 - 77 [IF 9.247] PDF Supporting Information PDF 
    • Cover art based on this article Link 
  • Scheele D, Mihov Y, Kendrick KM, Feinstein JS, Reich H, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2012) Amygdala lesion profoundly alters altruistic punishment. Biological Psychiatry 72: e5 - e7 [IF 9.247] PDF
  • Striepens N, Scheele D, Kendrick KM, Becker B, Schaefer L, Schwalba K, Reul J, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2012) Oxytocin facilitates protective responses to aversive social stimuli in males. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) 109: 18144 - 18149 [IF 9.737] PDF Supporting Information PDF 
  • Scheele D, Striepens E, Güntürkün O, Deutschländer S, Maier W, Kendrick KM, Hurlemann R (2012) Oxytocin modulates social distance between males and females. The Journal of Neuroscience 32: 16074 - 16079 [IF 6.901; AS 151] PDF 
    • Research in Germany - Land of Ideas PDF
    • Research Highlight: Nature (2012) 492: 157 PDF 
    • News Focus: Science (2013) 339: 267 - 269 PDF 
    • Society for Neuroscience (SfN) press release PDF 
  • Mihov Y, Kendrick KM, Becker B, Zschernack J, Reich H, Maier W, Keysers C, Hurlemann R (2013) Mirroring fear in the absence of a functional amygdala. Biological Psychiatry 73: e9 - e11 [IF 9.472] PDF
  • Becker B, Scheele D, Moessner R, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2013) Deciphering the neural signature of conversion blindness. The American Journal of Psychiatry 170: 121 - 122 [IF 13.559] PDF
  • *Feinstein JS, *Buzza C, *Hurlemann R, Dahdaleh NS, Follmer RL, Coryell WH, Welsh MJ, Tranel D, Wemmie JA (2013) Fear and panic in humans with bilateral amygdala damage. Nature Neuroscience 16: 270 - 272 [IF 14.976; AS 243] (*co-lead authors) PDF 
  • Scheele D, Wille A, Kendrick KM, Stoffel-Wagner B, Becker B, Güntürkün O, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2013) Oxytocin enhances brain reward system responses in men viewing the face of their female partner. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) 110: 20308 - 20313 [IF 9.809; AS 904] PDF 
    • Research in Germany - Land of Ideas Link 
    • News Focus in Science Link 
    • Research Highlight: Nature (2013) 504: 11 PDF 
  • Scheele D, Kendrick KM, Khouri C, Kretzer E, Stoffel-Wagner B, Güntürkün O, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2014) An oxytocin-induced facilitation of neural and emotional responses to social touch correlates inversely with autism traits. Neuropsychopharmacology 39: 2078 - 2085 [IF 7.833] PDF
  • Eckstein M, Becker B, Scheele D, Scholz C, Preckel K, Schlaepfer TE, Grinevich V, Kendrick KM, Maier W, Hurlemann R (2014) Oxytocin facilitates the extinction of conditioned fear in humans. Biological Psychiatry (in press) [IF 9.472] Link 
    • Research in Germany - Land of Ideas Link
    • Featured by Scientific American Link

 Abbreviations: AS, Article Altmetric Score; IF, Journal Impact Factor