Educational Background and Training
Dr. Agorastos received his M.D. from the Medical University of Vienna in 2006 and subsequently joined the Department of Psychiatry in the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf as a psychiatric resident. Dr. Agorastos completed his clinical residency training and additional CBT psychotherapy training and received his board approval in Nov 2011. Concurrently, he also completed his doctorate in psychiatry (Dr. med.) with the doctoral thesis “Evaluation of Addiction Cervices in Cyprus, as part of a European Twinning Project in cooperation with the Center of Interdisciplinary Addiction Research (ZIS). He then joined the PTSD research group of the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health at the University of California, San Diego (USCD), La Jolla, CA, USA, as a postdoctoral research fellow. Subsequently, Dr. Agorastos rejoined the Department of Psychiatry in the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf as attending psychiatrist and postdoctoral research fellow of the Biological Psychiatry Lab, while remaining an adjunct research associate at UCSD. In 2015, Dr. Agorastos submitted his professorial thesis (Habilitation) focusing on heart rate variability in health and stress-related diseases and was appointed Associate Professor (Privatdozent) for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in the University of Hamburg. Since Jan 2016, he serves as Senior Physician and Head of the Psychiatric Outpatient Services Unit in the University Departmant of Psychiatry.
Dr. Agorastos' current research focus centers in stress neurobiology with particular emphasis on psychoneuroendocrinological, neurophysiological and –immunological aspects of PTSD and depression, as well as in circadian rhythms and chronodisruption. Ongoing research project in USCD and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf investigate the role of biomarkers, inflammation, and neuroendocrine function in stress, depression and PTSD and in particular the CNS and peripheral pathophysiology of cytokines and other hormones, the effect of stress on peripheral inflammation and cardiovascular risk and its impact on HPA-axis, autonomic nervous system and heart dynamics (heart rate variability). He currently is a Co-PI of a new study assessing heart rate variability, HPA-axis reactivity, copeptin levels and molecular immunological biomarkers as predictive biological markers of antidepressive response, promising to reveal important new insights in the endocrine-autonomic interplay and their pathophysiology in depression.
Current fields of clinical expertise include stress- and trauma-related disorders (e.g. depression, PTSD), anxiety disorders, treatment-resistant depression, post-partum depression, affective and psychotic disorders with organic background and (neuro)psychiatric emergencies.
Scholarships, Awards and Honors
2008 Fellowship: The Maudsley Forum, Dept. of Psychiatry, King’s College, London.
2009 Young Researcher Award, European Psychiatric Association (EPA).
2012 Fellow Travel Award, American Psychosomatic Society (APS).
2012 Fellowship: EPA Academia 2012 Summer School, European Psychiatric Association (EPA), Strasbourg.
2013 Young Investigator Travel Award, International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE).
2013 Fellowship: ECNP School of Neuropsychopharmacology, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), Oxford.
2014 Travel Award, European Psychiatric Association (EPA).
2014 Fellowship: One year’s Research Scholarship for „Excellent Young Investigators“, Medical Faculty, University of Hamburg.
2015 International Travel Award, Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP).
2015 Educational Travel Award, World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP).
2015 Fellowship: B. Braun Foundation Educational Fellowship.
International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE)
American Psychosomatic Society (APS)
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)
German Society of Biological Psychiatry (DGBP)
German Association of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (DGPPN)
Hamburg Medical Association
German National Psychotherapy Organization (DVP)
European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP)
Expert reviewer in several high-impact scientific journal in the field, including: The Lancet Psychiatry, The British Journal of Psychiarty, Schizophrenia Research, Psychosomatic Medicine, Psychological Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Psychological Reports, Depression & Anxiety, International Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease and Mental Health, Religion & Culture.