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Our innovative translational approach


We have been at the forefront of research translating a comprehensive understanding of mechanisms of risk, protection and plasticity of mental disorders into individualized and collective interventions to promote mental health and treatment of mental illness, thus improving public health and societal welfare.


This is possible though an integrated collaborative and translational research strategy that is the foundation of our current excellence.


Our research is underpinned by methodological excellence, collaborative and global in reach through dense local, national and international networks. Our central conceptual model is the interconnected relationship between social experiences and mental health, mediated through biological, behavioral, social and societal mechanisms.


Over the life span, we focus on the interplay between modifiable socialenvironmental factors such as trauma, individual risk and protective factors, and the emergence of distress. This is embedded into a comprehensive ecological paradigm of recurrent interactions between subjective experience psyche, brain, body and social environment.


All researchers are committed to good scientific practice by DFG guidelines and safe and GRC compliant data handling.


Learn about our research themes


This bundles multidimensional research to gain comprehensive understanding of the genetic, neurobiological, neurodynamical, behavioral, environmental, and psychological mechanisms that contribute to risk and protection for mental disorders across the life span.


Given the complexity of mental illness this pillar is explicitly multimodal and transdiagnostic, making extensive use of machine learning and theoretical neuroscience

in a systems medicine context.


This pillar aims to improve existing therapies and devise novel, innovative approaches for the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and cure of mental illness. A focus is on personalized interventions − in realization that one size fits all treatments are not optimal for most patients.


Complex biomarkers derived from mechanism research provide stratification and prediction biomarkers for treatment. Our ambition extends to both innovative psycho- and biological therapies and specifically to their evidence-based combination.

Public health and prevention

This pillar aims to close the gap between the development of new interventions and services and their uptake by those most in need, to develop and pursue primary prevention and mental health promotion approaches delivered at large scale to improve public mental health, address stigma and improve mental health literacy of the public and in the medical field, advise policy makers, and to evaluate the effectiveness, participatory implementation and public health impact of these approaches.

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