Our interdisciplinary team is striving to improve the prediction of mental disorders in young high-risk patients, and in investigating the neurofunctional mechanisms and efficacy of potential innovative treatments such as cannabinoids and psychedelics. We use a variety of methods including structural and functional neuroimaging, neurocognitive and genetic methods, computational modelling, deep brain stimulation as well as pharmacological and clinical studies.
For more information, please visit our research page.
M1: Outcome prediction
Mission one focuses on the data-driven identification of mediators, moderators and biomarkers and their use for early illness detection and individualized outcome prediction. Investigating the risk and protective factors that are amenable to change helps us to plan measures for primary and secondary prevention. Extensive expertise in big data methods and technologies and in development of predictive scores supports our effort to determine cut-offs for intervention across the mental health continuum and define individual indications for specific treatments. Long-standing experience in establishing and tracking a wide variety of cohorts in the general population as well as medical and educational contexts contributes to this goal.
OPTIONAL? This work is supported by outstanding recruitment capacity for population-based studies thanks to the site’s excellent liaison to regional communities.
M2: Neural & cognitive predictive markers
The goal of this mission is to study the complex dynamics of early psychopathology, including the neural and cognitive mechanisms leading to the emergence of symptoms and those mediating recovery following pharmacological or psycho-social interventions. Specifically, we focus on examining structural information from the brain and modelling interactions between cognition and metacognition in ubiquitous everyday situations as well as the neurobiological pathways by which they operate. Our competence in artificial intelligence methods such as data mining, machine, and deep learning aims to support the identification of novel predictive markers in brain and behaviour.
M3: Innovative treatments & interventions
This mission aims to develop and test innovative approaches and treatment formats, especially such that can be used for low-threshold intervention outside the narrow mental healthcare setting, e.g., biotherapies, neuromodulation approaches and digital interventions. Thanks to the outstanding interfaces between clinical and research activities, the large case numbers seen yearly and the close collaborations with non-academic regional hospitals and local health departments, the Translational Psychiatry research group can conduct a variety of studies. Moreover, competence in artificial intelligence methods can support naturalistic studies evaluating interventions based on routine clinical files or insurance carrier data.
We aim to lead to identify effective interventions and promote their uptake into routine practice.
M4: Harmonisation & standards
This mission contributes extensive methods expertise with respect to clinical screening and assessment. Its goal is to contribute to the development of a national standard for transdiagnostic screening, outcome assessment and evaluation of healthcare delivery services, and promote harmonization with international standards. The Baltic Early Treatment Service (BEATS) applies this expertise via screening patients for early signs of psychosis using a standardised procedure.
M5: Training & methodological support
As part of this mission, we coordinate and support the training of young scientists with respect to the entire study cycle including the design, implementation, sophisticated statistical and predictive analyses and dissemination of the results. Here, we capitalise on a broad interdisciplinary structure for graduate and postgraduate training and young scientist support across the University of Lübeck and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein. A unique feature of the site are well-established structures for research with patients spanning the continuum of psychosis – from early high risk to full blown manifestation.
M6: Networking & outreach
This mission’s goal is to improve health literacy, facilitate access to information and peer support, and promote participatory research. Long-standing experience in implementing population outreach programmes at the regional and national level and the strong connections of the Translational Psychiatry group to local communities, patients’ and relatives’ organisations and the regional government, ensure exceptional effectiveness in planning and implementing information campaigns and health literacy promotion projects.
M7: Transfer activities
Transfer activities have consistently been a significant driving force for innovation in Schleswig-Holstein and beyond. Based on the excellent infrastructure and available frameworks for data security and privacy, we aim to develop decision support tools for the improvement of diagnosis and clinical staging as well as supporting advanced cohort research using mobile personal technologies and wearables to track multimodal clinical and pathophysiological data in ‘real time’ over long periods of time.