Dr. Anja Harrison (Fischer)

Health Psychology Lecturer

School of Psychology

Darwin Building, DB114

+44 (0) 1772 89 4456


Subject Areas: Health, Psychology

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

  • Neurodegenerative and inflammatory chronic illnesses and the link to psychological wellbeing
  • Internet-based/self-help therapeutic interventions
  • Clinical trials
  • Biomarkers of psychiatric disorders in context with somatic diseases
  • 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. 


Current research projects include:

  • Self-help and quality of life in chronic illnesses
  • Health anxiety
  • Service user preferences
  • Patient and public involvement


Research Activities

  • Since Oct 2016 Service user preferences (UCLan, Preston)
  • Since Feb 2016 Health Anxiety in Precancerous Conditions (UCLan, Preston)
  • Since Feb 2015 Development and pilot testing of a self-help manual tackling psychological distress in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (King’s College, London)
  • 2013-2014 AERCONN: Sports Intervention Randomised Controlled Trial in Mildly Impaired
  • MS Patients (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2013-2014 NEUCONN: Natural History Study on Progression Prediction Markers 2013-2014 Validation of the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms (IDS) in MS associated Depression (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2012- 2015 Evaluation of a web-based Depression Treatment Programme in MS, Epilepsy and Psychosis (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2012 - 2013 Psychoneuroimmunology of early life stress (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2012 - 2013 Impacts of Early life stress on MRI parameters and salivary cortisol in MS (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • Jul - Sep 2011 Dynamic Glucocorticoid Receptor Sensitivity in MS Relapse as opposed to Remission (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2011 - 2014 Biological Underpinnings of Borderline Personality Disorder (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2011-2014 Pregnancy in MS: Immunological Changes Associated with Altered Relapse Rate in the Course of Pregnancy and Relapse Rebound Postpartum (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2010 - 2012 Reduced T-cell Hydrocortisol Sensitivity in MS Depression (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • 2010 -2011 Glucocorticoid Receptor Dysfunction as a Biomarker of Multiple-Sclerosis (MS)-Associated Depression and Fatigue (Center for molecular Neuroscience, Hamburg)
  • Aug - Sep 2010 Linguistic Alignment in Asperger’s Syndrome (University of York, UK)




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.


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


  • PS1010 : Methods and practice of psychological inquiry
  • PS1030 : Introduction to Psychobiology and Cognition
  • PS1045 : Current Topics in Psychology II
  • PS2010 : Psy Res Meths 1: Des & Quant A
  • PS2015 : Psychological Research 2: Qualitative Methods
  • PS2040 : Individual Differences
  • PS2350 : Health Psychology
  • PS3040 : Health Psychology: Theory and Practice
  • PS3045 : Psychology of Health Promotion
  • PS3070 : Psychology Placement Module
  • PS3900 : Psychology Project
  • PS4000 : Essential Psychology: Concepts and History
  • PS4015 : Qualitative Psych Research
  • PS4020 : Social & Developmental Psychology
  • PS4322 : Health Psychology Core Psychosocial Issues
  • PS4323 : Health Psychology Core Intervention Issues
  • PS4324 : Professional Issues in Health Psychology
  • PS4940 : Advanced Health Psychology Project
  • PSC006 : Foundations of Psychology

External Activities

King’s College Health Psychology

Links with the following NHS trusts: Leeds, Harrogate, Gloucestershire, York




Jul 2017   Stroke Conference (Leeds, UK)

Jun 2017   Cochrane Systematic Reviews (Nottingham, UK)

Jun 2017   Spontaneous Future Projections in Mental Health (York, UK)

Jun 2016   British Society of Gastroenterology (Liverpool, UK)

Sep 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)