German researcher discusses work on personality disorders

Dr. Soonjo Hwang welcomes Dr. Falk Mancke to UNMC for a discussion on his research into personality disorders.

UNMC Department of Psychiatry Research Director Dr. Soonjo Hwang invited German researcher Dr. Falk Mancke, University of Heidelberg, to share his research on aggression with UNMC faculty, students, residents, and staff.

Dr. Hwang said this year, the department plans to bring in a series of respected outside speakers, in addition to local expects. Dr. Hwang learned about Dr. Mancke’s research when the two worked together at Boys Town in Omaha. When Interim Department Chair Dr. Howard Liu asked for outside speakers, Dr. Hwang immediately thought of Dr. Mancke. On Thursday, Sept, 26, Dr. Mancke led a ground rounds discussion on the topic of “Bio Behavioral Mechanism of Aggression in Personality Disorders.”

The research was initiated to better understand aggression among patients (17 and older) diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. Dr. Mancke said half of the people studied showed aggression and a quarter showed aggression with a weapon.

“I think it’s important to actually understand the new biological mechanisms and symptoms of aggression in these patients. We need to specifically target the mechanisms and treat the targets,” Dr. Mancke said.

Mancke’s research takes place in Heidelberg, Germany. While he has not specifically looked at U.S. patients, he believes his findings would be similar if he did the same study in Omaha.

The next grand rounds presentation will be at noon on Oct. 10 in room 2018 in the Michael Sorrell Center. Laura Flores will discuss challenges specific to under-represented populations in medical school.

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