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Molecular Neuroimaging


Department Head

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Gründer

Phone: +49 621 1703-1900

Fax: +49 621 1703-80-1900


Main Medical Building, Groundfloor, Room 056



Hanna Böhm 
Personal Assistant

Phone: +49 621 1703-1901
Fax: +49 621 1703-801901


Main Medical Building, Groundfloor, Room 037



The department, which was newly established at the Central Institute of Mental Health on January 1, 2018, investigates the neurobiological foundations of mental disorders and the mechanisms of action of psychotropic drugs. In particular, modern imaging techniques, especially positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance tomography (fMRI), which can be performed simultaneously on a modern PET/MR tomograph, are used. The state-of-the-art Siemens Biograph mMR PET/MR scanner is part of the new research infrastructure at the Centre for Innovative Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Research (ZIPP). The department sees itself as a hub for all working groups at the ZI and beyond, who want to expand their research approaches to the study of neurochemistry in the living human brain. 

Another focus of the department is translational and clinical psychopharmacology, which aims to characterize psychotropic drugs in humans, i.e. in healthy subjects as well as in patients with mental disorders, and to evaluate their short- and long-term effects. For early experimental psychopharmacological studies, a research unit with six beds is available at the ZIPP („Early Clinical Trials Unit“, ECTU). Multicentre treatment studies are carried out in cooperation with numerous national and international centres, and contacts with all companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry allow participation in clinical trials of innovative medicines. An important focus of the work in the next few years will be the study of propsychotherapeutic and psychedelic drugs such as MDMA and psilocybin for various psychiatric diseases. The department is leading a large (n = 144), double-blind and controlled study with psilocybin in therapy-resistant depression, which will begin in 2021. The ECTU offers ideal conditions for conducting such studies.

Drug Safety and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) is another key element of the department's work. It plays a pivotal role in the task force TDM of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Neuropsychopharmakologie und Pharmakopsychiatrie (German College of Neuropsychopharmacology, AGNP). The aim is to improve psychotropic drug treatment in routine clinical care by a personalization that is already possible today to a certain extent with TDM and pharmacogenetics.

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