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Research Group Schizophrenia Research


Head of the Research Group

Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Heinz Häfner

Phone: +49 621 1703-2951, -2952


Secretariat: Auli Komulainen-Tremmel, Dipl.-Übers. E-Mail


Researchbuilding, 4th floor, room 404


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Our main field of research includes general and special epidemiology and psychopathological/biological multi-level research into schizophrenia spectrum disorders and their genetic environment. Projects dealing with the history of psychiatry have also been conducted.

We have been focusing on how schizophrenia develops before the first treatment contact, on its medium- and long-term illness course, including its symptom dimensions, in comparison with age- and sex-matched healthy controls and probands diagnosed with severe and moderately severe depression. The aim has been to gain new insights into these disorders and how they are related to one another by taking age, gender, social variables and developmental processes into account. We have been proceeding systematically step by step on the basis of previously achieved results. In a series of accompanying studies based on partial results, e.g. on the early recognition of psychosis, we have studied the prerequisites for early intervention and conducted animal experiments and post-mortem analysis to explain the sex difference in age of onset. Our results are bound to advance knowledge on the disease construct of schizophrenia, on its symptoms as related to life-cycle and environmental factors, on its course and consequences and to provide evidence-based approaches to effective early intervention.

Recently, we have added to our research interests topics from the history of psychiatry. For example, on the basis of an extensive study of available sources, we have analysed the background and quality of B. von Gudden's (†1886) psychiatric assessment of King Ludwig II. of Bavaria (†1886).

University of Bonn Department of Psychiatry: Wolfgang Maier, Michael Wagner

University of Düsseldorf Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy: Wolfgang Gaebel

University of Düsseldorf Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy: Wolfgang Woelwer

University of Cologne Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy: Joachim Klosterkötter

University of Munich (LMU) Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy: Hans-Jürgen Möller

Bar Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel: J. Rabinowitz

Tel Aviv University, Chaim Sheba Medical Center - Psychiatric Division: Michael Davidson

Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedale Niguarda Ca' Granda, Programma 2000, Mailand, Italy: Angelo Cocchi, Anna Meneghelli

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