Robert Kumsta was appointed Professor of Biopsychology at the University of Luxemburg in May 2021. He studied psychology at the University of Trier, Germany, and received his Ph.D. in Psychobiology from the University of Trier in 2007. Funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, he joined the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, to study the effects of severe institutional deprivation in the English and Romanian Adoptees Study. From 2010 until 2013, he held a Research Fellow position at the Laboratory for Biological and Personality Psychology at the University of Freiburg. Since October 2013, Robert Kumsta has been Professor and Chair of Genetic Psychology at Ruhr University Bochum.
One of his major research goals is to establish a better mechanistic understanding of how early psychosocial risk is ‘biologically embedded’ and increases the risk of long term health problems. A particular focus is on the role of stress physiology and the oxytocin system. Furthermore, he is interested in mechanisms of gene-environment interplay and epigenetic processes.
Using a range of methods, including the study of genetic variation, gene expression patterns, epigenetics, multi-comics integration, as well as the characterization of stress physiology, he is trying to understand how genetic and environmental factors work together to shape developmental trajectories and outcomes across the life-span.