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Group photo from WCPG Florida (2017).

Workgroup Chairs:

Jürgen Deckert, Thalia Eley, and John (Jack) Hettema

If you have questions concerning the projects this workgroup is undertaking, please contact the work group chair(s).

Core Analytical Group Directors:

Manuel Mattheisen, Kirstin Purves, and Silviu Bacanu

If you have questions about a specific analysis, please contact the core analytical group director(s).

Outreach Liaison:

Rosa Cheesman

If you have questions concerning this web page or our social media accounts, please contact the work group outreach liaison.

About Us

After an initial meeting of the chairs at the WCPG 2016 in Jerusalem, the PGC Anxiety Workgroup became part of the PGC in 2017 with a kick-off meeting during WCPG 2017 in Orlando. Since then, our membership has grown to include over 30 groups from about 10 countries.

We are conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS) based on statistically powerful samples of patients with anxiety disorders and healthy individuals with data on anxiety measures. Our long-term objective is to provide further insight into the pathophysiology and neurobiological underpinnings of anxiety disorders through the identification of genetic risk variants, leading to the development of novel treatments or biomarkers.

Our analyses will include GWAS in (i) categorical case-control samples (panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia and specific phobia), (ii) population based samples with dimensional anxiety measures (e.g. GAD-7, STAI, ACQ, ASI), and (iii) samples with information on response to treatment for anxiety disorders. We are also keen to aid parallel GWAS consortium efforts (CAPICE, EAGLE) on the development of anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence, and to contribute to post-genomic research on anxiety, capitalising on genome sequence and epigenetic data.

We welcome anyone who is interested to join us. We are eager to collaborate with investigators who might be willing to share raw phenotypic/genotypic/other omic data or genetic effect sizes via summary statistics.

We welcome anyone who is interested to join us. For further information please contact the workgroup chairs Jürgen Deckert, Thalia Eley, and John (Jack) Hettema or email the group at


We are working on our first official PGC Anxiety publication – watch this space!

Influential anxiety GWAS publications involving members of our group:

Levey DF, Gelernter J, Polimanti R, et al.: Reproducible genetic risk loci for anxiety: results from ∼200,000 participants in the Million Veteran Program. Am J Psychiatry 2020; 177:223–232

Meier SM, Trontti K, Purves KL, et al.: Genetic variants associated with anxiety and stress-related disorders: a genome-wide association study and mouse-model study. JAMA Psychiatry 2019 22;76(9):924-932

Forstner AJ, Awasthi S, Wolf C, et al.: Genome-wide association study of panic disorder reveals genetic overlap with neuroticism and depression. Mol Psychiatry 2019

Purves, K.L., Coleman, J.R.I., Meier, S.M… et al.: A major role for common genetic variation in anxiety disorders. Molecular Psychiatry 2019. doi:10.1038/s41380-019-0559-1

Otowa T, Hek K, Lee M, et al.: Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of anxiety disorders. Mol Psychiatry 2016; 21:1485

Erhardt A, Akula N, Schumacher J, et al.: Replication and meta-analysis of TMEM132D gene variants in panic disorder. Transl Psychiatry 2012; 2:e156