​​​​Department of Psychiatry

​​Research - Research Units 

Medical Research Council Unit (MRC) on Risk and Resilience in Mental Disorders

The MRC Unit on Risk an​​d Resilience in Mental Disorders is a cross-university unit at the department of Psychiatry at SU and the department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town (UCT). This unit builds on the legacy of the MRC Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders that was initiated at SU in 1997. The MRC Unit on Risk and Resilience in Mental Disorders came into effect 1 April 2017, headed by Profs Dan Stein (UCT) and Christine Lochner (SU).

Unit Overview

Disorders of the psyche are fast becoming one of the greatest contributors to the burden of health disorders in both the developing and developed worlds. The current unit goes beyond anxiety and stress, to embrace a number of additional conditions, that are linked to, amongst others, compulsivity and impulsivity. The research covers a wide spectrum, from basic science (laboratory-based work) and clinical trials, using animal models, to genetics and brain imaging studies, as well as a variety of appropriate aspects of community psychology and culture. The practical implementation of these findings in the interest of the community, for example through the Unit's Mental Health Information Centre (www.mentalhealthsa.org.za), which includes a 24-hour telephone call service, is given high priority. 

Please see this link for the Unit's comprehensive details including research outputs and current projects. 

Project staff 

Prof Dan Stein, (PhD, DPhil) 
Email: dan.stein@uct.ac.za     

Prof Stein is the director of the unit. His research focuses on the psychobiology and management of the anxiety disorders, ranging from basic neuroscience to epidemiological and cross-cultural research.

Prof Christine Lochner, MA (Clinical Psychology), PhD
Tel: +27 21 938 9179
Email: cl2@sun.ac.za

Prof Lochner is the co-director of the genetics program in the unit, a clinical psychologist, researcher, and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry. Her interests include anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, behavioural aspects of obsessive-compulsive disorder and in linking these with underlying genetic factors.

Prof Brian Harvey 
Co-Director of the Animal Models Project in the Unit
Interest: Neuropharmacology of stereotypic behaviour and in animal models of PTSD
Tel: +27 18 299 2238 
Email: fklbhh@pucknet.ac.za

Dr Annerine Roos PhD (Psych) 
Tel: +27 21 938 9756/161
Email: aroos@sun.ac.za

Dr Roos is particularly interested in understanding how the brain works using behavioural and brain imaging techniques, and more specifically, investigating how the brain is modified by and/or respond to stress, anxiety and drugs. 

Dr Nienke Pannekoek
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Tel: + 27 21 938 9536
Email: nienke@sun.ac.za

Lian Taljaard
Research Assistant
Tel: + 27 21 938 9654
Email: liant@sun.ac.za

Edrich Rall
Research Assistant
Tel: + 27 21 938 9762
Email: edrichr@sun.ac.za

Mandi Broodryk
Research Assistant
Tel: + 27 21 938 9121
Email: mandels@sun.ac.za