Dr. Anja Fischer

Health Psychology Lecturer

School of Psychology

Darwin Building, DB114

Subject Areas: Health, Psychology

Anja has developed a strong interest in translational neurosciences/health psychology/HE teaching focusing on

- clinical trials
- Biomarkers of psychiatric disorders in context with somatic diseases
- Neurodegenerative and inflammatory chronic illnesses and the link to psychological wellbeing
- Internet-based/ self-help therapeutic interventions
- Psychoneuroendocrinology/ -immunology of stress, fatigue and depression


Full Profile

Throughout her career she has enjoyed traversing the interface between different scientific disciplines. She has a strong interest in translational neurosciences focussing on clinical trials, health psychology, psychoneuroendocrinology/ -immunology and biomarkers of psychiatric disorders in context with somatic diseases, neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders and their interaction with psychological wellbeing.

Anja studied Psychology at Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany before completing her PhD on Multiple Sclerosis- associated Depression in the Institute of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany. In her second postdoctoral position at King’s College London (KCL) she have worked on developing a self-help manual aiming to reduce psychological distress in people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Anja is active member of the Brilliant Club, an organisation dedicated to widen participation and address educational disadvantage. 


Moritz, S., Schroder, J., Klein, J. P., Lincoln, T. M., Andreou, C., Fischer, A.+, & Arlt, S+. (2016). Effects of online intervention for depression on mood and positive symptoms in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.04.033 **

2. Fischer, A.*, Schröder*, J., Vettorazzi, E., Pöttgen, J., Lau, S., Heesen, C.,Moritz, S., Gold, S.M.. Effectiveness of a Web-based Treatment Program for Depression in Multiple Sclerosis – A Randomized Controlled Trial. (Lancet Psychiatry, 2015 Mar;2:217-23).

3. Fischer, A., Fischer, M., Nicholls, R. A., Lau, S., Poettgen, J., Patas, K., Heesen, C., Gold, S.M.. Validation of the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) in Multiple Sclerosis-Associated Depression. (Brain and Behaviour, 2015 Sep;5(9):e00365).

4. Fischer, A., Otte, C., Krieger, T., Nicholls, R.A., Krüger, S., Ziegler, K.J., Schulz, K.H., Heesen, C., Gold, S.M. (2012). Decreased hydrocortisone sensitivity of T cell function in multiple sclerosis-associated major depression. Psychoneuroendocrinology 37,1712-1718. 


Research Activities

Since Mar 2016 Developing a theoretical model of pain in MS for the purpose of designing treatment

Since Feb 2015 Development and pilot testing of a self-help manual tackling psychological distress in

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

2013-2014 AERCONN: Sports Intervention Randomised Controlled Trial in Mildly Impaired

MS Patients

2013-2014 NEUCONN: Natural History Study on Progression Prediction Markers

2013-2014 Validation of the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms (IDS) in MS associated


2012- 2015 Evaluation of a web-based Depression Treatment Programme in MS, Epilepsia

and Psychosis

2012 - 2013 Psychoneuroimmunology of early life stress

2012 - 2013 Impacts of Early life stress on MRI parameters and salivary cortisol in MS

Jul - Sep 2011 Dynamic Glucocorticoid Receptor Sensitivity in MS Relapse as opposed to


2011 - 2014 Biological Underpinnings of Borderline Personality Disorder

2011-2014 Pregnancy in MS: Immunological Changes Associated with Altered Relapse Rate

in the Course of Pregnancy and Relapse Rebound Postpartum

2010 - 2012 Reduced T-cell Hydrocortisol Sensitivity in MS Depression

2010 -2011 Glucocorticoid Receptor Dysfunction as a Biomarker of Multiple-Sclerosis

(MS)-Associated Depression and Fatigue

Aug - Sep 2010 Linguistic Alignment in Asperger’s Syndrome (University of York, UK)



Current research interests

  • Self-help and quality of life in chronic illnesses
  • Biological outcome parameters of psychological interventions


Teaching activities and responsibilities

Brilliant Club

  • Tutor for the K+ summer School, Taster lectures

King’s College London

  • Personal Tutor for MSc Health Psychology students
  • MSc Health Psychology, Module: Psychosocial factors in Chronic Illness and Disability (Stress and Psychobiology, PsychoNeuroImmunology)
  • Online MSc Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health: Teaching Fellow, Modules Psychological Foundations of Mental Health, Mental Health in the Community


  • Health Psychology (PS2350)
  • Methods and practice of Psychological Enquiry (PS1010)
  • Foundations of Psychology (PSC006)
  • Qualitative Psychological Research (PS4015)
  • Professional issues in Health Psychology (PS4324)
  • Psychology Placement (PS3070)
  • Essential Psychology: Concepts and History (PS4000)
  • Advanced Health Psychology Project (PS49410)
  • Academic advisor

External Activities

King’s College Health Psychology  


June 2016 British Society of Gastroenterology (Liverpool, UK)

Sept 2015 Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2015 (London, UK)

Nov 2013 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik und

Nervenheilkunde Kongress (Berlin, Germany)

Oct 2013 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple

Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Sep. 2013 Course on Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) (Hamburg, Germany)

Jun 2013 2nd Conference of the International MS Cognition Society (IMSCOGS) (Zurich, Switzerland)

2012 Joint International Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology (ASRI) and the European Society for Reproductive Immunology

(ESRI) (Hamburg, Germany)

2011 41st Annual Meeting of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology

(ISPNE) (Berlin, Germany)