The Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (Chair: Prof. Dr. Peter Falkai), Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich is PRONIA’s coordinating site. It is the largest Academic Department of its kind in Germany, equipped with 10 in-patient departments and an outpatient department for the specialised treatment of different mental disorders, including schizophrenia and affective disorders. From Emil Kraepelin’s and Alois Alzheimer’s seminal work up to recent, internationally renowned publications, the main research focus of our Department has been on advancing the neurobiological understanding, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, focusing on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and neurodegenerative disorders.
The local PI and coordinator of the overall project is Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Koutsouleris. In his role as consultant he heads the Centre for Early Psychosis Studies and PRONIA outpatient service which closely collaborates with the Department’s Centre for the Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders (CEP). The centre is at the core of a network of diverse mental health services in the Munich area, including the Academic Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Heckscher Clinic, the Isar-Amper-Clinic, Munich East and other community-based services, thus providing rapid diagnostic evaluations of persons at risk of developing mental illness.
Recently, the Department has significantly advanced neurobiological research in psychiatry by a series of highly cited, peer-reviewed publications that strongly supported the use of neuroimaging as diagnostic tool for an individualised risk-adapted management of patients with different psychiatric conditions. The multi-centre research activities of PRONIA now continue this work on a much broader scale and with the aim to finally translate basic neurobiological research into clinical tools that can ultimately benefit the individual patient, as imagined by the founders of our Department.