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PD Dr. med. habil. Ute Lewitzka

Research focus

  • Anti-suicidal effects of lithium
  • Change of care and its effect in suicide-related outcome after psychiatric discharge
  • Biological markers in patients with mood-disorders and suicidality
  • Development of suicidal behavior in patients with somatic diseases (e.g. ALS, brain tumors)
  • Effects of school-awareness- programs about stress, psychiatric diseases, suicidality
  • Influence of resilience training as psychotherapeutic intervention in patients with suicide attempts

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Official position 

Head of the Research Group “Suicide Research”; Senior Psychiatrist


University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus,Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Business address 

Fetscherstr. 74
01307 Dresden

Academic education and degrees

​1991 - 1999

Humboldt University Berlin & Medical School at Dresden (Technische Universität Dresden) Study of Medicine


​Doctoral degree, Technische Universität Dresden


Specialization for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy


Postdoctoral lecture qualification (venia legendi) in Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden


Professional career

​1999 - 2006

​Resident psychiatrist (Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Dept. of Neurology, Dept. of internal medicine), University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden

​2006 - 2008

​Specialist for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden

​2008 - 2010

​Head of the psychiatric acute care unit,  Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden
Coordinator, Undergraduate Medical Curriculum, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden

​2010 - 2012

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University Halifax, Canada

​Since 2012

​Senior physician & Study Coordinator, Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden


Honors, awards and positions


​Poster Award DGPPN “Vergleich der antidepressiven Wirksamkeit von Lithium mit Citalopram Monotherapie bei unipolarer Depression


Research Fellowship Award, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada (140.000 CAD)


Research Fellowship Award, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada (48.000 CAD)

​Since 2008

​Board of the International Group for the Studyof Lithium Treated Patients (IGSLI)

​Since 2016

​Board of Kreisärztekammer Dresden

​Since 2017

Founder and Chairmen of the Werner FelberInstitute for Suicide Prevention and Interdisciplinary Research in HealthSystem” (WFI)

​Since 2018

Head Section Suicidality, German Society forPsychiatry, Psychotherapy and Nervous Disease (DGPPN)

​Since 2018

Chairmen of the German Society of SuicidePrevention (DGS)


Current journal editorial positions

​Since 2012

Associate Editor Section Mood Disorder, BMC Psychiatry

​Since 2015

Deputy Section Editor, Section “Causes, Treatment and Prevention of Suicidality”, BMC Psychiatry

​Since 2015

Scientific Advisory Board Suizidprophylaxe


10 most important peer-reviewed papers (10 out of: 80, SCOPUS h-index: 18)

  1. Lewitzka U, Sauer C, Bauer M, Felber W. Are national suicide prevention programs effective? A comparison of 4 verum and 4 control countries over 30 years. BMC Psychiatry. 2019;19(1):158.

  2. Conell J, Lewitzka U. Adapted psychotherapy for suicidal geriatric patients with depression. BMC Psychiatry. 2018;18(1):203.

  3. Lewitzka U, Bauer M, Ripke B, Bronisch T, Günther L. Impulsivity and Saliva Cortisol in Patients with Suicide Attempt and Controls. Neuropsychobiology. 2017;75(4):162-168.

  4. Lewitzka U, Spirling S, Ritter D, Smolka M, Goodday S et al.  Suicidal Ideation vs. Suicide Attempts: Clinical and Psychosocial Profile Differences Among Depressed Patients: A Study on Personality Traits, Psychopathological Variables, and Sociodemographic Factors in 228 Patients. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2017;205(5):361-371.

  5. Lewitzka U, Denzin S, Sauer C, Bauer M, Jabs B. Personality differences in early versus late suicide attempters. BMC Psychiatry. 2016;16:282.

  6. Ritter D, Pesch M, Lewitzka U, Jabs B. Suicidal ideation of prisoners: Influence of duration of imprisonment, personality traits and disorders. Nervenarzt. 2016;87(5):496-5005.

  7. Lewitzka U, Jabs B, Fülle M, Holthoff V, Juckel G et al. Does lithium reduce acute suicidal ideation and behavior? A protocol for a randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter trial of lithium plus Treatment As Usual (TAU) in patients with suicidal major depressive episode. BMC Psychiatry. 2015;15:117.

  8. Lewitzka U, Severus E, Bauer R, Ritter P, Müller-Oerlinghausen B, Bauer M.  The suicide prevention effect of lithium: more than 20 years of evidence-a narrative review. Int J Bipolar Disord. 2015;3(1):32.

  9. Lewitzka U, Scheffczyk R, Ritter D, Doucette S, Bauer M, Bschor T. No correlation between lithium serum levels and psychopathological features during the euthymic interval of patients with recurrent affective disorder. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2012;45(1):1-6.

  10. Lewitzka U, Müller-Oerlinghausen B, Felber W, Brunner J, Hawellek B et al. Is MAO-B activity in platelets associated with the occurence of suicidality and behavioural personality traits in depressed patients? Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2008;117(1):41-9.

Foto: privat

Semmelweisstraße 10, Haus 13
04103 Leipzig
0341 - 97 24539