New German Centre for Mental Health

Heidelberg, Mannheim and Ulm researchers succeed in application review procedure

Researchers from Heidelberg, Mannheim and Ulm, together with other selected locations, are going to take on the establishment of the new German Centre for Mental Health, operating jointly in the research alliance ZIHUb. That was announced today by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The ZIHUb alliance will be coordinated by the Central Institute of Mental Health (ZI) in Mannheim with the involvement of researchers from Heidelberg University and Ulm University. With its Germany-wide Centres for Health Research, the German Federal Government is promoting the long-term networking of excellent research institutions with the aim of speeding up the practical application of new medical findings.

In the framework of the two-stage selection procedure, the ZIHUb researchers were able to demonstrate convincingly how pooling resources clearly accelerates the translational cycle in psychiatry and the mental health of the population can be measurably improved. This ranges from exploring individual risk and resilience factors through to developing new therapies and using mobile digital technologies to reach larger parts of the population. 21 researchers from the ZI as well as 15 from Heidelberg and Ulm were instrumental in presenting the application. The research programme proposed by the alliance focuses on social interactions in particularly relevant time periods, on early traumatisation and in adolescence. The ZI’s expertise as Germany’s biggest psychiatric research institution here joins forces with research excellence in the fields of psychotherapy, trauma and care that the partner locations Heidelberg and Ulm will contribute. In addition, the German Cancer Research Center can offer its competence in the field of investigating cellular and molecular biomarkers. All partners share many years of intensive collaboration. The Central Institute of Mental Health is closely linked to Heidelberg University via joint professorships.

In the further process towards establishing the German Centre for Mental Health, the next step will start in mid-2021, when the designated locations will develop coordinated work plans and make grant proposals.

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