Post Docs


Dea S. Stenbæk
Post Doc, Junior Group Leader, Research Associate Professor, Psychologist
Dept. Neurology and Neurobiology Research Unit,
Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet,
Building 6931,
Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
3545 6741

Curriculum vitae

Scientific interests:

My overall research focus has been on pharmacological manipulations of the serotonin (5-HT) system in healthy research participants using most recently psilocybin, but also oxytocin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa), to investigate mechanisms of risk and treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders with an affective component. To understand how serotonin is involved in affective processing in the healthy brain, I have studied associations of various 5-HT receptors using PET imaging, i.e., 5-HT2AR, 5-HT4R, 5-HTT and 5-HT1BR with personality and affective cognition. Furthermore, I have studied personality and affective neurocognition in clinical samples such as depressed patients and violent offenders. My work has also contributed to methodological developments, such as design and validation of novel affective neurocognitive tests and specification of psychological outcomes in the Lundbeck Foundation Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging database.


2016 - Coordinating post doc research psychologist at Neurobiology Research Unit
2018 Authorized as clinical psychologist by the Danish Psykolognævn
2016 - 2017 Clinical psychologist at Clinic of Crisis Psychology, Rigshospitalet (50% - and 50% research at NRU). This work involved crisis-intervention, including individual therapy and debriefing for personnel and patients, and supervision of personnel at Rigshospitalet and Glostrup Hospital. I received regular supervision in relation to this work
2012 - 2015 PhD student, Neurobiology Research Unit and Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging with the project "Effects of pharmacological manipulations of synaptic serotonin and sex-hormonal levels on affective cognition and mental distress in healthy women".
2011 - 2015 Clinical psychologist at Reden International treating women with late traumatic effects of prostitution and human trafficking. This work involved group therapy as well as individual therapy, using primarily psychoeducation and mentalization-based interventions. I received regular supervision in relation to this work
2011 - Specialist-training in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) psychotherapy, which focuses on the therapeutic effects of guided imagery in response to music.
2011 M.Sc. in Psychology
2009 - 2011 Research assistant at Neurobiology Research Unit
2006 - 2008 In-service training in Analytical Psychotherapy at the Jung Institute, focusing on symbols, dream interpretation and personality development

International relations:

I collaborate with the Cambridge Cognition Group which is the leading global provider of cognitive assessment tools, including Professor Rebecca Elliott from Manchester University and Professors Barbara Sahakian and Trevor Robbins from Cambridge University. The Cambridge Cognition Group has recently developed and validated the first comprehensive three-hour test battery of affective and social cognition; the EMOTICOM test battery, which is currently being validated in Danish at NRU under my supervision. I also collaborate with the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, including the Dr. David Erritsoe, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris and Professor David Nutt who are three of the world’s leading scientists within the field of psychedelics.

National relations:

At the University of Copenhagen, I collaborate with the Center for Visual Cognition under the Center of Excellence Programme, including Associate professor Signe Vangkilde, and with the Institute of Psychology BabyLab, including Associate professor Mette Skovgaard Væver. At Rigshospitalet, I collaborate with the Heart Centre, including Professors Selina Kikkenborg Berg and Christian Hassager, and with the Department of Oncology, including Professors Lene Specht and Christoffer Johansen.

Supervision of students:

At Neurobiology Research Unit I am the person primarily responsible for training and supervising master level psychology students from both Danish universities and abroad. The students have typically been associated with ongoing research at NRU over a period of 6 to 12 months. Furthermore, I have regular arrangements with Departments of Psychology from all Danish Universities and supervise approximately 1-2 internships per semester. I have through my supervision introduced the students to the basics of writing scientific protocols, data collection, psychological testing, statistical analyses, and the writing of manuscripts. This work has enabled a platform for new psychology students, who want to be involved in translational research, to join our group and facilitated an environment for both current and future PhD students.

Management experience:

Located at Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet, I have worked to establish a psychology group and have participated in the design of various studies at our lab. The psychology group has been responsible for testing of all research participants in projects at Neurobiology Research Unit with a three-hour test battery of neuropsychological functions, which was implemented in 2011. As coordinating research psychologist, I have been responsible for conception of research ideas, writing study protocols, project management, communication with all relevant authorities, statistical analyses, and writing of manuscripts for publication in international peer-reviewed journals.


2018: Project funding (200.000 kr) from the Health Foundation (Co-PI)
2017: Project funding (2.000.000 kr) from MVU (Co-PI)
2017: Project funding (250.000 kr) from OUH og Rigshospitalet puljen (Co-PI)
2016: Post doc/project funding (1.844.000 kr) from The Danish Council for Independent Research (Co-PI)
2016: Project funding (400.000 kr) from Augustinusfonden (Co-PI)
2013: Scholarstipend (120.000 kr) from Lundbeckfonden (Co-PI)
2011: Project funding (115.000 kr) from Aase og Ejnar Danielsens Fond (Co-PI).


My full list of scientific publications can be accessed using the following PubMed search string: Stenbæk-DS [Author].