Topics / Disorders

The research in addiction covers substance abuse and novel problems like internet gaming addiction, both in children, youths and adults. The involved groups are working on a large spectrum of projects from biological mechanisms of addiction to therapeutic intervention and problems occurring due to additional disorders.

Major depression is the leading cause for reduced quality of life due to illness worldwide. We investigate mechanisms of rapid-acting antidepressant treatment.


Borderline Personality Disorder: Focusing on understanding the developmental pathways, neurobiological underpinnings and treatment outcomes of the most prevalent personality disorder in youth.

The aim is to investigate and distinguish causes for cognitive impairment to improve diagnostics and non-pharmacological interventions.

The aim is to study the assessment, clinical course, and neurobiology of movement abnormalities across psychiatric disorders to develop novel targeted treatment options.


Studying the consequences and antecedences of an emerging youth mental health problem with increasing prevalence worldwide.

By combining neuropsychological testing, MRI and non-invasive brain stimulation, the aim is to develop individualized and therefore effective cognitive interventions.

This topic covers a large spectrum of research areas, from understanding the neurobiological mechanisms, early detection to developing new treatment strategies of psychosis.

We study interventions regarding their relative efficacy and effectiveness and identify psychological and neurobiological mechanisms of action that help to improve and develop new therapeutic approaches in psychotherapy.

Assessing the clinical, psychosocial and biological concomitants of critical risk-taking and self-harm behaviors with societal impact in youth.

Sleep and mental health are bidirectionally related - disrupted sleep is often a core feature of many psychiatric disorders and sleep difficulties exacerbate psychiatric symptoms.  The overarching aim of our research is to gain new insight into the pathophysiology of mental health disorders by investigating and modulating sleep. To achieve this, we take a multimodal approach using high-density sleep EEG, auditory closed loop stimulation and actigraphy coupled with in-depth behavioral phenotyping. Furthermore, translating our findings into clinical practice is a priority of our research activities.

With more than 700,000 deaths per year, suicide is a serious global health problem. The Swiss incidence for suicide in 2018 was 12 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is within the cross-national mean range. Despite extensive research on risk factors, prediction of suicide remains difficult. A past suicide attempt is one of the greatest risk factors for subsequent suicide attempts. One focus of our studies is the investigation of the suicide-specific intervention «the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP)».

A disruptive approach to understanding mental disorders linking specific symptoms onto large-scale brain systems.