Research at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry
We are looking for a new Director!
The main goal of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry is to uphold a uniquely close interaction between basic science, clinical research and clinical services in order to gain knowledge about and understanding of the causes of psychiatric disorders. This knowledge can then be applied in the development of novel diagnostic possibilities as well as therapeutic and preventive approaches. Stress-related disorders, such as major depression and anxiety disorders, are our main research and clinical focus.
Our collective long-term goal is to elucidate the pathways and mechanisms by which stress is perceived, processed, and transduced into neuroendocrine and behavioral responses under healthy and pathological conditions.
Our goal is to determine genetic risk factors and their interaction with environmental exposures. In addition, we aim at dissecting epigenetic mechanisms and neural circuits underlying the etiology and pathophysiology of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.
The main focus of this research group is to study the impact of acute and chronic stress on the body during different developmental stages. Specifically, we are interested in the behavioral, neuroendocrine and molecular basis of individual stress vulnerability and resilience.
Our research group has pioneered the establishment of mouse models of psychiatric diseases and emotional dysregulation. We also achieved major contributions regarding the neurobiology of the endocannabinoid system in development and extinction of exaggerated fear. In addition, we unraveled major factors of the interrelationship between anxiety and cognition.
Our overarching aim is to contribute to a new, biology-based taxonomy of psychiatric disease and to develop treatments and preventive strategies targeted to the underlying biological disturbance.
Currently, the etiology of mental illness can be best described as being of multifactorial genesis. Our research aims to comprehensively broaden the neurobiological evidence on the effectiveness of psychotherapy and tries to further differentiate the present level of knowledge.
Neuronal migration is a fundamental step in the development of the central nervous system. We aim at understanding the biological mechanisms and therefore identifying potential therapies for cortical malformations.
We like to deconvolute how the combination of many genetic and epigenetic alterations can lead to onset and progression of psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia by identifying molecular and macroscopic phentoypes in disease relevant cell populations.
We focus on the biological mechanisms of psychotherapy and the use of biomarkers to optimize the psycho- and pharmacological treatments to individual patient characteristics.
We want to contribute to the development of innovative and truly interactive experimental paradigms within social neuroscience, which allow for the investigation of the neural mechanisms of real-time social interaction.
The research groups of the institute are supported by several scientific Core Units. The spectrum is under permanent development according to the requirements of the scientists.