Research infrastructure

Mental Health Dresden-Leipzig provides optimal conditions for research with exceptional research infrastructures and state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories.

Mental Health Dresden-Leipzig provides an exceptional infrastructure with clinical services and state-of-the-art facilities/laboratories to ensure optimal conditions for basic and clinical research. The university hospital and the Faculty of Medicine of both universities form a joint institution committed to excellence in high-performance medicine, medical research and teaching as well as in in- and outpatient healthcare services for patients of the entire regions of East, Central and West Saxony.

To find out more about our Research Networks click here.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Center Dresden

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Center Dresden is the largest outpatient center in Germany offering support to individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder of all ages and associated mental health concerns through comprehensive evaluation and therapy services, research opportunities, and consultation services. The research focus is to understand the psychopathology and the development of evidence based intervention in ASD, e.g. by examining the interplay with ADHD or anxiety as a symptom or coexisting disorder. Additionally, basic psychopathological mechanisms in ASD using structural and functional MRI, EEG, genetic analysis, and neurocognitive tasks are examined. Furthermore development and evaluation of innovative, standardized psychotherapeutic interventions for toddlers, children, adolescents and adults with ASD without accompanying intellectual impairment are investigated – some with support of intranasal oxytocin. At last, nutrient supplements are tested to improve ASD outcome.

Biomedical and wet laboratory facilities

The Psychoneuroendocrinology Lab (C. Kirschbaum) provides a high throughput biochemical laboratory with five robotic liquid transfer systems for semi-automated immunoassays and liquid chromatography coupled with three tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) setups to allow simultaneous quantitation of high-throughput hormone and enzyme analysis.

The Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology Laboratory (C. Pariante) at IoPPN in London, investigating the interaction between the brain, the body and the mind. It is embedded in the Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Centre, one of European largest research centres in psychiatry. It operates state-of-the-art tissue culture facilities, a robotic sample-handling system with bar-code labelling, alarmed freezer storage, and a state-of-the-art microscopy facility, the Wohl Cellular Imaging Centre, with advanced cellular imaging platforms for both live and non-live high-resolution confocal imaging.

The Laboratory of Neurobiology of Psychiatric Disorders (Head: N. Bernhardt) comprise the standard equipment for behavioural, immunohistochemical, biochemical and molecular analysis, and hosts a S1 laboratory, authorized for the work with genetically modified organisms, in addition to an S1 animal facility.

The Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine has established structures supporting translational and clinical research:

  1. The Dresden Integrated Liquid Biobank (DILB), processes liquid samples in a fully automated manner also using the world's first robotic system for automated isolation of blood mononuclear cells.
  2. A state-of-the-art Metabolomics Unit combining NMR spectroscopy with experimental and clinical liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) platforms, provides cutting-edge targeted and untargeted metabolomics analysis.

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​The Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS) is an epidemiological logistical platform of expertise and resources for the implementation of complex clinical and epidemiological studies with focus on longitudinal studies in random samples of the general population, medical care, and clinical cohorts. Researchers at CELOS develop and provide sophisticated routines and procedures, including diagnostic interviews, digital questionnaires, online assessments, and laboratory-based assessment techniques.


Center for Clinical Trials

​Both medical faculties provide coordination centers for clinical trials that will support the management of the clinical research at the partner site. The Coordination Centers for Clinical Trials Dresden (KKS) and Center for Clinical Trials Leipzig (ZKS, M. Loeffler) support researchers in the planning, implementation, data management and statistical evaluation of clinical trials in accordance with the German Medicines Act/Medical Devices Act or the Medical Professional Code. Both have established a standardized, quality management system in accordance with the requirements of the ICH Guideline E6 "Good Clinical Practice".
The Center for Clinical Trials Leipzig (ZKS Leipzig) (Director: M. Loeffler) at the IMISE is one of the largest of its kind in Germany, currently coordinating about 70 clinical research projects and combining all activities and competences with regard to the design and implementation of clinical trials. The ZKS Leipzig is responsible for the design, conduct and biostatistical analysis of interventional investigator-initiated clinical trials. It is ECRIN certified. ZKS has established a standardized quality management system in accordance with the requirements of the ICH Guideline E6 "Good Clinical Practice", on the basis of which the planning, execution and evaluation of the clinical trials are supervised by the ZKS. It also runs trials intended for submission to the FDA. The ZKS consists of three units: The Coordinating Centre for Clinical Trials (German abbreviation: KKS), the Site Management Organization (SMO) mainly supporting the organization and implementation of clinical trials in cooperating departments and institutions of the ULMC, and the ZKS Academy, offering a broad spectrum of advanced training programs in patient-oriented clinical research. It offers an extensive continuing education program and a unique MSC For Clinical Research and Translational Medicine.


The German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults is conducted on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health by the Robert Koch Institute as part of its health monitoring system. Wave 1 of the survey was conducted from 2008 to 2011 with sample of 8,152 participants aged 18 to 79 years. The survey design is both cross-sectional and longitudinal and examines health status, health behavior, living conditions and health care utilization via interviews, laboratory tests and medical examinations. The longitudinal aspect of the survey allows causes and determinants of health-related changes in the life course as well as typical disease courses and consequences to be examined and prognostically relevant risk constellations and causal relationships to be identified. The Mental Health Module (N=5,138) of DEGS1 supplements the main survey by examining the distribution, frequency severity and impairments of a wide range of mental disorders, risk factors as well as patterns of help-seeking and health care utilization, associations between mental and somatic disorders, and longitudinal trends and changes in morbidity over time. The mental health module and its combination with the assessment of somatic and other health issues in DEGS1 allow for internationally unique, detailed and comprehensive analyses about mental disorders and the association of mental and somatic health issues in the community. The collected data are widely drawn on in the context of epidemiological and public health research and are mostly publicly available in Public or Scientific Use Files.

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Digital Health Facilities

Mental Health Dresden-Leipzig hosts three digital health facilities that contribute to "personalized medicine" by directly translating descriptive and analytic epidemiologic and medical findings on disease trajectories as well as risk and protective factors into practice.

  1. The Else Kröner-Fresenius Center for Digital Health (EKFZ) is a joint cross-faculty initiative at the Technische Universität Dresden, the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden along with several other partners on the Dresden campus. The EKFZ accelerates digitization in medicine for the benefit of the patient and focuses its research effort on the interface of the digital world with the patient thereby serving as a bridge between medical big data efforts and traditional biomedical engineering.
  2. The Chair of Clinical Psychology and E-Mental Health has specialized in the development and evaluation of E-Mental Health (or digital/online) interventions. Prof. C. Jacobi has been the PI of several collaborative projects, conducted numerous randomized controlled trials in the field of digital interventions and served as a consultant to international (NIH)-funded projects at Stanford University. She is experienced in European collaborative projects as member of the FP7-NeuroFAST network, and as coordinator of ICare, a large, EU-funded network for the development, evaluation, and dissemination of online interventions for common mental health disorders.
  3. The BipoLife A3 Smartphone Study consortium investigates the usefulness of a smartphone-based feedback loop triggering early interventions at the detection of warning signs for affective episodes in bipolar disorders.

Dresden Center of Tic and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

The Dresden Center of Tic and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders is the only specialized multidisciplinary clinic referral and research center with a specialized inpatient ward for pediatric patients with tic disorders/tourette syndrome and/obsessive-compulsive disorders in Germany. A close relationship exists between the clinic and the research laboratory, offering opportunities for patients to participate in ongoing research. We are conducting research to help us identify the causes for tourette syndrome and to develop the next generation of treatments and interventions.

Early Detection and Intervention Center

​The Early Detection and Intervention Center is open for help-seeking young people aged 15 to 35 years with all kind of symptomatology and/or need for counselling. The Early Detection and Intervention Center Dresden employs specifically trained staff on the early recognition and treatment of mental disorders. Individuals can consult the Early Detection and Intervention Center directly or via referral by psychologists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians or counselling services. Patients are assessed by clinical psychologists and/or psychiatrists with a comprehensive standardized, stepped diagnostic procedure including early recognition instruments, if indicated. Diagnostic information is evaluated in multi-professional case conferences and treatment decisions are made based on the best available evidence in a shared decision process. At the Early Detection and Intervention Center Dresden, instruments and biomarkers for the early detection of bipolar disorders and innovative treatment approaches are developed. 

Eating Disorders Research and Treatment Center Dresden

The Eating Disorders Research and Treatment Center Dresden offers specialized multidisciplinary outpatient, day-time (including multi-family approaches) and inpatient treatment for young patients with (atypical) anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. A close relationship exists between the Center and the Translational Developmental Neuroscience Lab, offering opportunities for patients and parents to participate in several ongoing research studies. We are conducting research to identify the underlying mechanisms of eating disorders with the goal to develop the next generation of treatments.

Electrophysiology laboratories (E-lab)

The electrophysiology laboratories include four modern EEG laboratories (64 and 128 channels; one equipped for studies with children) in the Faculty of Psychology and three EEG laboratories (64 channels; all include eye tracking; all also equipped for studies with children) in the Division of Cognitive Neurophysiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The unit is also equipped with two devices for transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) (CMO2, Cerbomed, Erlangen, Germany), a device for transcranial direct/alternative current stimulation (tDCS/tACS) (Neuroconn, Ilmenau, Germany) and a device for neuronavigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) (PowerMAG systems). The unit operates several AI pipelines for EEG data analysis. As part of the CeTI cluster of excellence, the Chair of Lifespan Developmental Neuroscience (Head: S.-C. Li) has set up a HiL-Psychophysics Neurocognitive Lab (two LiveAmp 32-channel wireless EEG systems and one NIRSport 2 system), a HiL-Multisensory Action Lab (Qualisys Motion Capture System, Tobii Pro Glasses) and a HiL-Multisensory Virtual Reality Lab (three 22-sensor CyberGlove System III, one ART Trackpack System, five HTC VIVE VR 15 systems). These labs are primarily used for psychological research in the CeTI cluster but are also open to possible synergistic collaborative studies between CRC members.

German Center for Brain Stimulation

Nearly every fourth patient with a psychiatric disorder does not tolerate or sufficiently respond to standard pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. This directly leads to an impaired quality of life, significant morbidity and mortality, as well as high socioeconomic costs. The proposed consortium reacts to this unsatisfactory situation by establishing the German Center for Brain Stimulation (GCBS) aiming at developing novel treatment and health care strategies for psychiatric disorders. This endeavor is based on strong preclinical and clinical evidence supporting the notion that brain stimulation techniques, i.e. non-invasive and invasive brain stimulation are therapeutically effective in various common psychiatric disorders. However, the absence of coordinated interdisciplinary and translational research in this field has hampered the transition of experimental brain stimulation procedures into safe and effective therapeutic strategies for therapeutic application.      


The German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), conducted by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) since 2003, was at the time the first nationwide survey in the population of 0 to 17 year-olds. KiGGS was initially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the RKI. The survey comprises representative data on physical and mental health status, health behaviors and other health determinants, collected by means of surveys, medical examinations, tests and laboratory analyses. KiGGS baseline participants (N=17,640) are tracked into adulthood, with two follow-ups having currently been completed (Wave 1: 11,992 participants, Wave 2: 10,853 part.). The central aims of KiGGS are to identify typical health and health behavior trajectories over the life course, describe inter-population trajectory variations, analyze the impact of risk and protective factors in long-term health development, and observe transition periods and their implications for health development. The mixed data collection methodology allows for more valid measurements and better frequency estimates for illnesses, and the causes and conditions of health changes occurring in the life course can be analyzed due to its longitudinal cohort design.

German National Cohort (GNC) recruiting center

The Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, the University of Leipzig and the Leipzig Medical Faculty jointly run one of 18 recruiting centers of the German National Cohort (GNC) (GNC 2014), a joint interdisciplinary endeavor of scientists from the Helmholtz and Leibnitz Associations, universities, and other research institutes, that is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Helmholtz Association and the German Federal States. Its aim is to investigate the causes for the development of major chronic diseases, including psychiatric disorders and their pre-clinical stages or functional health impairments in a sample of n=10,000 (GNC total: n=200.000), with follow-up after 5 years.

Housing and Living in Leipzig-Grünau 1979 - 2020

Since 1979, the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research has been conducting the local long-term sociological interval study Housing and Living in Leipzig-Grünau 1979 - 2020 (PI: S. Kabisch). The study entails 11 consecutive resident surveys (the last to be conducted as of 2020) and provides unique data on the interplay between environmental and societal developments and their impact on mental wellbeing, spanning both life in the former German Democratic Republic, the transition and re-unification of the 1990s, and current challenges linked to migration-accelerated urbanisation. The study focuses on the residents' perspective of their housing conditions and social environment. The results provide information about changes, stabilities and required action, and shall serve to implement the Integrated Urban District Development Concept Grünau 2030, as decided by Leipzig City Council in 2018.

Information technology facilities

​The Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing (ZIH), a central scientific institution of TUD, operates IT services and IT infrastructure and is the High Performance Computing center of the federal state of Saxony. The IT-service is specifically tailored for data-intensive computing, Big Data analytics, and Artificial Intelligence. One focus of the ZIH is research data management over the complete data life cycle and provides support for large-scale research projects with the Service Center Research Data. This also includes specific solutions for data relevant to Mental Health Dresden-Leipzig, like participant and study management, MRI image management, or computational modelling. Link:

The Leipzig Health Atlas is a registered repository designed and implemented by an alliance of medical ontologists, medical systems biologists and clinical and epidemiological trials groups at Leipzig. It provides a multi-functional and quality-assured atlas to allow data-use according to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) principles. It provides models, data and metadata on specific use cases from medical research fields and, within the DZPG, will be expanded to accommodate the needs of researchers from the mental health field.

In Leipzig, the Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology (IMISE) provides expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, genetic statistics, dynamic modelling of diseases and medical informatics (M. Loeffler).

The consortium Smart Medical Information Technology for Healthcare (SMITH), is one of four consortia funded by the BMBF Medical Informatics Initiative (PI: M. Loeffler). It is an association of universities, university clinics, research institutions and IT companies. The objective is to create an infrastructure of data integration centers in 10 university hospitals to permit access to hospital based electronic health records and to make them usable for data analysis. SMITH has developed a generic concept for its data integration centres that uses identical services and functionalities to optimize the benefits of the interoperability architectures and the planned data use and access process.

Leipzig School of Psychosocial Health

​The Leipzig School of Psychosocial Health brings together interdisciplinary expertise in the fields of psychosocial medicine, public mental health and epidemiology in order to advance young scientists' careers, promote interdisciplinary research projects and provide a joint public relations platform.

Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE)

The Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases originated from the excellence initiative of the Free State of Saxony, initially funded with 38 Mio. €. Covering health at large, LIFE has a strong focus on mental health, looking at the causes and development of widespread common diseases to develop more effective prevention and treatment strategies. LIFE conducts the population-based cohorts LIFE-Adult and LIFE-Child, both established in 2011. The LIFE Adult cohort comprises of 10.000 participants with deep phenotyping including cognition and mental health, and brain-MRT as well as EEG in 2500 participants. A first follow-up is currently being conducted, focusing especially on participants with initial brain-MRT and deep cognitive profiling. The LIFE Child cohort consist of three interrelated cohorts: a birth cohort, a health cohort and an obesity cohort. Over 3000 children and their families have participated, two-third of them participate continuously. In addition disease based cohorts were set up, e.g. LIFE-Depression, a cohort study on the long-term development of internalizing mental health problems among children and adolescents, which started in 2010 and has been funded by the European Union (EFRE) and the State of Saxony. An essential part of the overall LIFE concept is the LIFE-Biobank, comprising of a deep-freeze system for -130 °C storage that is unique in Germany. All cohorts are also profiled genetically (genotype arrays, transcriptome of WBC).

Neurosciences at the MPI CBS

The Department of Neurology of the MPI (Chair: A. Villringer) works together with the Dept. of Cognitive Neurology at ULMC (Joined Directorship) in order to translate findings in basic research into clinical care. The MPI uses cutting edge equipment (MRI (7T, 3T, Connectome), EEG, MEG, fNIRS, TMS, TDCS, focused ultrasound) in order to examine mind-body-brain interactions. In particular, projects involve the impact of psychosocial stress on brain structure and function; chronic impact of stress on development of hypertension, obesity; the mutual developmental/causal relationship between depression and stroke/ dementia. Other projects focus on emotion regulation and its neural correlates and interventions, and on cardiac determinants of mental health and cognition. At the MPI, several approaches are combined: "Big data" (UKL-Biobank, national cohort), Leipzig cohort studies (LIFE, LEMON), neuroimaging studies and clinical intervention studies (clinic for cognitive neurology at ULMC).

Neuroimaging Facilities

TUD hosts two neuroimaging facilities:

  1. The Neuroimaging Center (NIC) at TU Dresden houses a Siemens 32-channel 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system exclusively dedicated to research. The Neuroimaging Centre is also equipped with an MRI compatible 64-channel electroencephalography (EEG) system, an MRI compatible EDA device for skin conductance measurements, an electrocardiography (ECG) device and pulse oximetry system, a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) system and several experiment rooms for computerized behavioral experiments outside the scanner.
  2. The Neuroimaging Center (CarusNIC) at University Hospital CGC, serves as a research facility for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It provides a 3 Tesla MRI scanner (Siemens Magnetom Prisma) equipped with state-of-the-art neuroimaging hardware and software including fMRI and multi-nuclear MR spectroscopy. CarusNIC is a state-of-the-art resource for the interdisciplinary research groups at the Faculty of Medicine of the TUD. The facility is primarily dedicated to research, and its location on campus makes it easily accessible to study participants invited via inpatient and outpatient services.

Outpatient Center for Psychotherapy (IAP)

​The Outpatient Center for Psychotherapy (IAP) is a clinical research unit designed for recruiting, diagnosing and treating patients with mental disorders. Foci include anxiety, affective and substance use disorders as well as disorders in children and adolescents. State-of-the-art psychotherapeutic interventions are studied in randomized-controlled trials and under naturalistic conditions. A large training center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is associated. The unit has been extraordinarily successful in coordinating and conducting large-scale psychotherapy studies among them some of the yet largest psychotherapy studies such as PROTECT-AD. The unit has extensive experience in conducting psychotherapy studies under rigorously controlled conditions and in the recruitment and training of study therapists.

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Research Academy Leipzig (RAL)

​The Research Academy Leipzig (RAL) is the central service institution responsible for promoting early career researchers at Leipzig University. As the University's central service institution for early career researchers, it offers doctoral researchers and postdocs a wide range of support and assistance. The support provided is intended to complement the offerings available in the faculties. The RAL is committed to ensuring uniform standards and quality assurance for doctoral studies at Leipzig University. The RAL plans workshops and seminars for interdisciplinary career development in a variety of skill areas and in this way support the career paths of both our doctoral researchers and postdocs. Through our Graduate Centers and the Leibniz Programme, the RAL promotes Leipzig University's strategic goals of internationalization and interdisciplinarity.

Specific outpatient clinic for patients with bipolar disorders

The specific outpatient clinic for patients with bipolar disorders of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at TUD (head: E. Severus) provides interdisciplinary care via clinicians, psychotherapists, social therapists and nurses specialized in the field of bipolar disorders. They offer up-to-date (differential) diagnostics and treatment including evidence- and guideline-based neuropharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. Additionally, observational, naturalistic studies and RCT are conducted e.g. regarding the use of E-mental health monitoring techniques to improve the course of illness and the acute and long-term effectiveness of lithium.

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