The Researchers

Here’s some more information about the ‘next generation of anxiety researchers’ who’ve been given the exciting opportunity by EUSARNAD to gain knowledge and experience at different research centers.

Ben Ainsworth is a PhD Student at the University of Southampton,Ā studying the use of mindfulness as a treatment for sufferers of anxiety disorders. Ben is spending time at the University of Cape Town, assisting with a mega-analysis of cortical thickness analysis in social anxiety and developing an interest in neuroimaging. He was awarded an MRC Centenary Award Grant for 2013, allowing him to continue research in this field in Southampton once he returns from Cape Town.




Shareefa Dalvie is a PhD student at the University of Cape Town studying the genetic basis of two psychiatric phenotypes, namely, alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and bipolar disorder. She visited the University of Bristol in June 2013 to work on gene-environment interactions in AUDs using data from the ALSPAC cohort.




Andrew Crawford is a PhD student at the University of Bristol investigatingĀ genetic markers of response to antidepressant treatment, focusing onĀ adverse effects.Ā Andrew visited the University of Cape Town at the start ofĀ 2013 and was involved in a haplotype analysis investigating the associationĀ of acetaldehyde-metabolising genes in individuals with alcohol dependenceĀ (with or without comorbid anxiety) in a Cape Mixed Ancestry population.



Natalie Cuzen is a Neuropsychologist and researcher at the University of Cape Town, with a background in addiction research in both adult and pediatric populations. During her attachment in the United Kingdom, Natalie investigated the clinical and neurocognitive profiles of individuals with obsessive-compulsive and co-occuring substance use disorders at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. She was also involved in a study of abstinent drug users at the University of Cambridge.




Stella de Wit










JP Fouche





Coenie Hattingh is a neuroanatomist specialising in clinical neuroimaging at the University of Cape Town, subspecialising in the structural neuroimaging of severe psychopathologies. During his time as clinical research fellow at Leiden University Medical school, Coenie conducted the neuroanatomical inspection of structural MRI’s in a cohort of patients affected with trauma, depression and anxiety. He is currently also involved in an international neuroimaging collaboration in social anxiety disorder.



Christiane Nday is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Cape Town, working on identification of blood biomarkers for metamphetamine-addicted people with a history of psychosis. For the next six months, Christiane will be receiving intensive training on high throughput sequencing technology and data analysis at EST (Estonian Genomic Center). She is funded by the South African National Research Foundation to continue working on neuroscience field in the University of Cape Town upon her return.


Carlotta Palazzo is a resident in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Milan. Carlotta has a background in biological and epidemiological research in psychiatric disorders. During her attachment in Cape Town, Carlotta worked on a meta-analysis on the efficacy of pharmacological treatment on psychic versus somatic symptoms in GAD, and developed an interest in mental health literacy in anxiety disorders. She also spent time at Southampton University with David Baldwin learning clinical and experimental methodology for working with anxiety disorders.


Justine Nienke Pannekoek is a PhD student at Leiden University, looking at resting-state functional connectivity and structural abnormalities in the brain in adults and adolescents with depression and anxiety. Nienke spent time in Cape Town setting up an International Social Anxiety DisorderĀ database. Combining MRI data from all over the world, she will be returning to UCT in 2013 to conduct a mega-analysis investigating these structural characteristics of the brain in a unique and large dataset.



Sonja Pasche








Natasha Strydom






Anne Uhlmann







Steven van der Werff