Dr Nikola Kern

MD, MRCPsych

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Nikola Kern is a consultant psychiatrist with the Eating Disorders Service. She is responsible for day care and part of the outpatient service at the Maudsley Hospital, as well as the inpatient service at Bethlem Royal Hospital.


Dr Kern studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg and completed her Doctor of Medicine (MD) thesis there.

She worked at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich and was awarded a scholarship from the Max Planck Society to follow research in the field of genetics of affective and anxiety disorders.

Moving to London, she trained in adult psychiatry at the Trust and developed a special interest in various forms of psychological treatments, including family and mentalization-based therapy. She became a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych) in 2006 and completed a postgraduate diploma in systemic family therapy at the Institute of Family Therapy in 2008.

She received a certificate of completion of training in general adult and liaison psychiatry in 2010 and has since worked as a consultant in the Eating Disorders Service at the Trust.


She is part of the research team for a project called ‘Nice outcomes for referrals with impulsivity, self-harm and eating disorders’. The project, running in locations across South East England, aims to find out whether mentalization-based therapy or specialist supportive clinical management is better for people with eating disorders and either impulsivity and self-harm or borderline personality disorder.


Binder EB, Kunzel H, Nickel T, Kern N, Pfennig A, Maier M, Uhr M, Holsboer FHPA-axis regulation at in-patient admission is associated with antidepressant therapy outcome in male but not in female depressed patients. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2009 Jan;34(1):99-109.

Keck ME, Kern N, Erhardt A, Unschuld PG, Ising M, Salyakina D, Müller MB, Knorr CC, Lieb R, Hohoff C, Krakowitzky P, Maier W, Bandelow B, Fritze J, Deckert J, Holsboer F, Müller Myhsok B, Binder EB. Combined effects of exonic polymorphisms in CRHR1 and AVPR1B genes in a case/control study for panic disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2008 Apr 2.

Erhardt A, Lucae S, Kern N, Unschuld PG, Ising M, Lieb R, Uhr M, Hohoff C, Deckert J, Bandelow B, Maier W, Binder EB, Müller-Myhsok B, Keck ME, Holsboer F. Association of polymorphisms in the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene with syndromal panic attacks. Mol Psychiatry. 2008 Mar; 13(3):242-3

Unschuld PG, Ising M, Erhardt A, Lucae S, Kohli M, Kloiber S, Salyakina D, Thoeringer CK, Kern N, Lieb R, Uhr M, Binder EB, Müller-Myhsok B, Holsboer F, Keck ME. Polymorphisms in the galanin gene are associated with symptom-severity in female patients suffering from panic disorder. J Affect Disord. 2008 Jan;105(1-3):177-84.

Unschuld PG, Ising M, Erhardt A, Lucae S, Kloiber S, Kohli M, Salyakina D, Welt T, Kern N, Lieb R, Uhr M, Binder EB, Müller-Myhsok B, Holsboer F, Keck ME. Polymorphisms in the serotonin receptor gene HTR2A are associated with quantitative traits in panic disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2007 Jun 5;144B(4):424-9.

Erhardt A, Lucae S, Unschuld PG, Ising M, Kern N, Salyakina D, Lieb R, Uhr M, Binder EB, Keck ME, Müller-Myhsok B, Holsboer F. Association of polymorphisms in P2RX7 and CaMKKb with anxiety disorders. J Affect Disord. 2007 Aug;101(1-3):159-68.

Ising M, Horstmann S, Kloiber S, Lucae S, Binder EB, Kern N, Künzel HE, Pfennig A, Uhr M, Holsboer F. Combined dexamethasone/corticotropin releasing hormone test predicts treatment response in major depression – a potential biomarker?

Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Jul 1;62(1):47-54.

Thoeringer CK, Binder EB, Salyakina D, Erhardt A, Ising M, Unschuld PG, Kern N, Lucae S, Brueckl TM, Mueller MB, Fuchs B, Puetz B, Lieb R, Uhr M, Holsboer F, Mueller-Myhsok B, Keck ME.

Association of a Met88Val diazepam binding inhibitor (DBI) gene polymorphism and anxiety disorders with panic attacks. J Psychiatr Res. 2007 Oct;41(7):579-84.

Erhardt A, Ising M, Unschuld PG, Kern N, Lucae S, Pütz B, Uhr M, Binder EB, Holsboer F, Keck ME. Regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system in patients with panic disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006 Nov;31(11):2515-22

Pfennig A, Kunzel HE, Kern N, Ising M, Majer M, Fuchs B, Ernst G, Holsboer F, Binder EB.

Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system regulation and suicidal behavior in depression.

Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Feb 15;57(4):336-42.

Binder EB, Salyakina D, Lichtner P, Wochnik GM, Ising M, Putz B, Papiol S, Seaman S, Lucae S, Kohli MA, Nickel T, Kunzel HE, Fuchs B, Majer M, Pfennig A, Kern N, Brunner J, Modell S, Baghai T, Deiml T, Zill P, Bondy B, Rupprecht R, Messer T, Kohnlein O, Dabitz H, Bruckl T, Muller N, Pfister H, Lieb R, Mueller JC, Lohmussaar E, Strom TM, Bettecken T, Meitinger T, Uhr M, Rein T, Holsboer F, Muller-Myhsok B Polymorphisms in FKBP5 are associated with increased recurrence of depressive episodes and rapid response to antidepressant treatment. Nature Genetics, Dec; 36(12):1319-25, 2004

Künzel HE, Binder EB, Nickel T, Ising M, Fuchs B, Majer M, Pfennig A, Ernst G, Kern N, Schmid DA, Uhr M, Holsboer F, Modell S Pharmacological and non-pharmacological factors influencing hypothalamus-pituitary adrenocortical axis reactivity in acutely depressed in-patients, measured by the Dex/CRH test. Neuropsychopharmacology Dec;28(12):2169-78, 2003

Kern N, Ströhle A Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety disorders. Psychotherapie, 8 (1): 104-113, 2003

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