Ongoing Studies of the DRZ

Here we would like to inform you about the questions and aims of our current research projects and studies. Various basic and applied studies are funded in the framework of project funding, which are described under the research groups. Below you can find our current long-term studies. If you are interested in participating as a subject in one of the studies, please contact the respective experiment leader.

Longitudinal Resilience Assessment (LORA)

Stress-related mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders or depression cause enormous personal suffering and large economic and societal costs. Progress in our understanding of disease mechanisms and, in particular, in the development of new therapies in the last decades has been limited, despite intense research. The incidence of stress-relate mental disorders remains high. It seems therefore important and timely to complement pathophysiological research with an alternative strategy, which is to investigate protective mechanisms that support the maintenance of mental health during and after adversity. Focusing on resilience rather than on pathophysiology represents a paradigm shift in mental health research and has great potential for the development of new prevention strategies.

The aim of the LORA study is to investigate psychological and biological mechanisms underlying psychological resilience. The results of the LORA study may contribute to the development of innovative approaches for the prevention of stress-related mental disorders.

The study (planned study period: 4,5 years) consists of two parts:

  1. Every 1,5 to 2 years: Comprehensive assessment of psychological variables, collection of biological parameters and neurobiological test battery.
  2. Every three months: internet-based assessment of stressors and collection of hair sample.

Inclusion criteria for study participation:

  • Age 18 to 50 years.
  • Motivation to take part in a long-term study.

Individuals with known severe mental or physical disorders, tinnitus, non-correctable vision disorder or subjects who participated in a pharmacological study within the last six months, cannot take part in the LORA study.

The study participation will be compensated. Participants may take part in a subproject, assessing the individual fitness (optional).

The study is conducted in two study centers (Mainz and Frankfurt). If you are interested in participating, please refer to the respective study team.

Study coordination: Dipl.-Psych. Nele Goldbach
Principal Investigator: Univ.- Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Reif
Tel.: +49 151 17191359
Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt
Heinrich-Hoffmann-Straße 10, 60528 Frankfurt am Main

Study coordination: Dr. Bianca Kollmann
Principal investigators: Univ.- Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Lieb, Univ.- Prof. Dr. med. Oliver Tüscher
Tel.: +49 6131 17-6103
Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie Universitätsmedizin Mainz Untere Zahlbacher Straße 8, 55131 Mainz

Mainz Resilience Project

The "Mainz Resilience Project" (MARP) is conducted by a consortium of researchers in the departments of Neuroimaging (NIC), Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Microscopic Anatomy and Neurobiology, and Neurology. MARP aims to build a cohort of healthy young volunteers in Mainz and Mainz-Bingen who are in the critical transition phase between adolescence/school life and professional life, which is associated in many with the onset of new mental health problems. We will accompany these individuals over several years and assess their mental health status and the life stressors they encounter. We are interested in whether certain individual characteristics that our subjects show at the time of their inclusion in the study predict successful coping and resilience. These assessments will be performed using neuroimaging and behavioral examination. Ultimately, we hope to identify brain properties and mental faculties that are crucial protective mechanisms. Our results should provide a sound basis for the development of new prevention strategies. MARP is supported by the foundation “RLP für Innovation“ (Rheinland-Pfalz Ministry of Education) and the Focus Program Translational Neuroscience Mainz (FTN) and operates in close collaboration with the "Gutenberg Brain Study".

Further information about MARP can be found here.

MARP is led by Prof. Raffael Kalisch, Neuroimaging Center Mainz (NIC)

Gutenberg Brain Study

The "Gutenberg Brain Study" (GBS) is a platform project of the Focus Program Translational Neuroscience (FTN). The GBS is intended to strengthen the translational activities of the FTN with respect to human research studies.

The GBS is a population-based cohort of subjects that have consented to provide basic psychological health and genetic (DNA) information, life history, personality and socio-demographic data purposefully designed to assess resilience to common life stress (in contrast to resilience following disaster, which has been the subject of most studies so far) and to test its relation to genetic determinants. Test subjects were genotyped according to socio-demographic parameters, environmental variables and, depending on the genotype or gene-environment combination, studied further in satellite projects with regard to brain structure and function.

The overall research theme of the GBS is the explanation of molecular aspects of brain structure and function. In addition to the study of the normal brain, mechanisms, in particular those that enable the human brain to respond to environmental influences (e.g. stress), that preserve function and structural integrity will be investigated.

Further information about the GBS can be found here.

The GBS is located in the Department of Neurology and is led by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Oliver Tüscher.