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RG Translational Psychopharmacology


Dipl. Ing. Biotechnology | Project leader | Research Associate

Dr. rer. nat. Marcus Meinhardt

Phone: +49 621 1703-1904, -6258


Main Medical Building, Groundfloor, Room 060 | Laboratory Building, First Floor, Room 143


The 2021 established research group is anchored between the Institute for Psychopharmacology (preclinical research) and the Department of Molecular Neuroimaging (clinical research) and focuses on the development of novel therapeutic approaches as well as the evaluation of new drug candidates (target validation) in the field of substance disorders to ultimately provide go/no-go decisions for clinical development.

Techniques used in the group range from classical molecular & biochemical methods, innovative transgenic in vivo manipulations to state-of-the-art neuroimaging approaches (Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)) in preclinical animal models for addiction and associated comorbidities. Our DSM-5 based model for alcohol addiction has demonstrated a high predictive power and is therefore internationally recognized as gold standard model in the pharmaceutical industry for testing new putative anti-relapse drugs.

The path to clinical application of promising drug candidates can be put forward in our unique translational platform that consists of an in-patient Early Clinical Trial Unit for experimental psychopharmacological studies at the Center for Innovative Psychiatric and Psychotherapeutic Research.

 A key focus of the research group is to attach great importance to issues of data robustness and data generalizability in order to conduct high quality decision enabling/ knowledge claiming research on new drug candidates for addictive disorders. For doing so we have established the 3R-Center Rhein-Neckar for animal experimentation in psychiatry, which is dedicated to the 3R animal welfare principles (3R: reduce, refine, replace) and to strengthen the validity, robustness, and rigor of preclinical data to enable a smoother, faster and safer transition from preclinical to clinical testing and drug approval (see www.3r-rn.de).

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de