Designated spokespersons:

Ute Habel
Ute HabelPhD.,Prof.
JARA-BRAIN, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics,
School of Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen,
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine 6 (INM-6) and JARA-BRAIN Institute I (INM-10), Forschungszentrum Jülich

My research focus lies on neurobiological correlates of emotion and social cognition as well as gender differences in healthy individuals and psychiatric patients. Here, I became specifically interested in the neural correlates of frustration, aggression and impulsivity in healthy individuals and psychiatric disorders, such as antisocial personality disorders, autism and Borderline personality disorder. Genetic and hormonal influences in this field are also targeted. Furthermore, I investigate effects of innovative modulation techniques, such as transcranial direct current stimulation or psychotherapeutic interventions on behavior and cerebral activation. Further methods to alter and modulate brain and behavior use chemosensory and olfactory as well as painful stimulation. Research methods include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and simultaneous fMRI-EEG measurements as well as psychophysiological methods, applying different analyses techniques such as connectivity measures, resting state and data-driven analyses.

Ruben C. Gur
Ruben C. GurPhD.,Prof.
Departments of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurology, Director, Brain Behavior Laboratory and the Center for Neuroimaging in Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
and the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center, Philadelphia

JARA BRAIN Researchers (RWTH Aachen & FZ Jülich, Germany)

Simon Eickhoff
Simon EickhoffProf. Dr.
Director of the Institute Brain and Behaviour (INM-7), Juelich

Translational research on pathophysiological processes underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders, methods development for neuroinformatics approaches towards database-driven analyses, machine-learning approaches for the individual prediction of cognitive, affective and clinical phenotypes from neuroimaging data.

Konrad Kerstin
Konrad KerstinUniv.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
JARA-BRAIN, Dept.of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, School of Medicine, RWTH Aachen University and Psychotherapy,Aachen and INM-3,-11,Research Center Jülich, Jülich
Mathiak Klaus
Mathiak KlausProf. Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat.
JARA-BRAIN, Dept. of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, School of Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen
Irene Neuner
Irene NeunerUniv.-Prof. Dr. med.
Kommissarische Klinikdirektorin
Institut für Neurowissenschaften und Medizin, INM4,
Forschungszentrum Jülich

I focus on multimodal neuroimaging: My research includes the combination of different imaging approaches within MRI (Task-related fMRI, resting state fMRI, DTI, spectroscopy, cortical thickness, ASL, phosphor spectroscopy), simultaneous MR-EEG at 1.5T, 3T and 9.4T, hybrid MR-PET imaging at 3T and 9.4T, and hybrid MR-PET-EEG imaging at 3T and 9.4T. In particular, I utilize ultra-high field MRI (≥ 7T) for an accurate characterization of the unique neurobiological features of individual patients. These imaging data are then integrated with neuropsychological data and genetic or epigenetic data in order to create an individual and multimodal fingerprint for each patient. This approach allows me to identify individual resilience in healthy individuals and markers of risk and prognosis in patients with mental disorders (precision psychiatry).
A further clinical factor is on Tourette’s disorder and its relationship to impulsivity as well as the neurobiological underpinnings and potential therapeutic options. Currently, I participate in two clinical studies by Janssen-Cilag investigating Esketamine and Seltorexant in MDD.

Shah N. Jon
Shah N. JonUniv.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
JARA-BRAIN, INM-4, -11 and Dept. of Neurology, Research Center
Jülich,Jülich and School of Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen

I investigate the development and implementation of new methods and sequences in magnetic resonance imaging, with a focus on the brain. In particular, I am interested in quantitative MR imaging, structural and functional imaging, sodium imaging, diffusion imaging and high-field MR (7 Tesla MR scanner). In my group, MRI measurements are also combined with quantitative in vivo imaging of normal and diseased metabolic functions with PET and the combination of the two scanners (hybrid 3T MR-PET and 7T MR). I am further specialized in the investigation of neuroscientific applications of imaging, multimodal imaging and brain water mapping.

Reetz Kathrin
Reetz KathrinUniv.-Prof. Dr. med.
JARA-BRAIN, Dept. of Neurology and INM-4, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Research Center Jülich GmbH, Jülich

My research interest is the identification of disease-specific markers for neurodegenerative diseases using innovative methods and their evaluation in the context of clinical, fluid and genetic parameters. Various clinical, digital and neuroimaging methods are used, and here, in particular at risk and prodromal stages of neurodegenerative diseases are of interest to identify earliest changes of neurodegenerative diseases. My aim is to obtain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, enable patients a better risk and progression prognosis and to identify clinical and imaging markers that can be used in clinical trials. As a clinician scientist, my clinical specialization is similarly, focused on neurodegenerative diseases such as dementias (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease) and movement disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Friedreich ataxia and spinocerebellar ataxias). This work is carried out within the framework of the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA-BRAIN) in close cooperation with Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ).

Spehr Marc
Spehr MarcUniv.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
JARA-BRAIN, Dept. of Chemosensation, Institute for Biology II, RWTH Aachen University,Aachen

In most mammals, conspecific chemical communication controls complex behaviors. Information about individuality, social and reproductive status is conveyed by an elusive class of chemical cues – pheromones. The highly reproducible character of pheromone responses offers a unique opportunity to uncover the neuronal basis of genetically programmed behavior. Despite its fundamental significance, however, the basic chemosensory mechanisms of social communication remain largely unknown. To address these issues, my laboratory has developed a multi-faceted approach to uncover the mechanisms underlying mammalian pheromone sensing. My research, therefore, focuses on the molecular and cellular architecture of chemosensory communication in conspecific mammals – an innovative and interdisciplinary field of neurobiology. Combining molecular, biochemical, (electro)physiological, and live-cell imaging methods, as well as behavioral techniques in wildtype and mutant mouse models, my research challenges existing models of signal transduction in the olfactory system, analyzes the principle coding logic of pheromone detection, and, thus, sheds light on the neurophysiological basis of social behavior.

Merhof Dorit
Merhof DoritProf. h.c. Dr.-Ing.
JARA-BRAIN, Institute of Imaging and Computer Vision, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen

My research interests include acquisition, processing and visualization of image data originating from various biomedical and industrial applications. The methodology applied for the analysis, harmonization and classification of neuroimaging data includes Image Analysis, Computer Vision, Feature Extraction, Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, Multidimensional Signal Processing and Visualization of Image Data.

 Michael Hanke
Michael HankeProf. Dr.
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-7)

• Research topics
– Brain response to complex natural stimulation
– Neuroinformatics
• Methodological topics
– Decentralized research (meta) data management
– Multivariate pattern analysis
– Functional imaging (fMRI)

I develop tools and strategies to employ interdisciplinary expertise in psychological and neuroimaging research. Projects range from tailored solutions to specific problems to versatile research platforms and data management systems.

Lisa Wagels
Lisa WagelsAsst. Prof.
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
RWTH Aachen University
JARA-BRAIN – Jülich Aachen Research Alliance

My research interest focuses on social and affective neuroscience, in particular neural signals underlying aggression, impulsive and social decision-making as well as the integration of influencing factors such as of situational stressors or personality traits. Implementing different methods (e.g. fMRI activity/ connectivity, electrodermal activity), I aim to develop ecologically valid experimental task designs that are suited to investigate social interaction processes in clinical and healthy populations and enable an investigation of underlying neurobiological influence factors. Basic research on neural mechanisms is thus complemented by translational studies in clinical groups with the aim to identify biological correlates and mechanisms underlying clinical symptoms and test potential interventions. Here, I specifically test pharmacological interventions to modulate aggression, anger and risk-taking e.g. via testosterone or vasopressin administration. These projects also test the involvement of genes and hormones as well as inter neural synchrony by applying the technique of fMRI hyperscanning. Further, I apply non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (e.g. tDCS) with the aim of modulating neural circuits underlying aggressive and impulsive behavior.

Researchers of the University of Pennsylvania

Gur Raquel E.
Gur Raquel E.Prof. MD PhD
Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Studies on brain and behavior in healthy people and patients with brain disorders, with a special emphasis on leveraging neuroimaging as experimental probes. My studies examine sex differences in emotion processing, executive function, episodic memory, aggression, aging effects, and abnormalities in regional brain function associated with psychosis, affective disorders, and neurological disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, movement disorders and dementia.

Edward S Brodkin
Edward S BrodkinProf. PhD
Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

My laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania is focused on basic, translational, and clinical studies of social behaviors relevant to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Brodkin lab studies the neurobiology of social behavior phenotypes in genetic mouse models relevant to autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders; the genomics of social behavior phenotypes in human autism; and development of treatments for improving social functioning, especially in adults with ASD.

Rebecca Waller
Rebecca WallerProf. PhD
Dept. of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

I study socioemotional development, child psychopathology, and personality development. In particular, my research examines the environmental contexts that children grow up in and that give rise to the development of antisocial behavior, including aggression, violence, theft, and problematic alcohol and substance use, as well as related constructs, such as callous-unemotional traits, fearlessness, empathy, and conscience. My research explores how the environment interacts with genetic risk (i.e., using candidate genes, twin studies, adoption designs) to influence children’s socioemotional development by shaping brain structure and function (i.e., using fMRI, DTI). My work has a strong translational goal by focusing on understanding resilience among children and families to help inform prevention and intervention strategies for reducing antisocial behavior.

Konrad Kording
Konrad KordingProf. PhD
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

I try to understand how the world and in particular the brain works using data. Early research in the lab focused on computational neuroscience and in particular movement. But as the approaches matured, the focus has more been on discovering ways in which new data sources as well as emerging data analysis can enable awesome possibilities. The current focus is on causality in data science applications – how do we know how things work if we cannot randomize? But we are also very much excited about understanding how the brain does credit assignment. Our style of working is transdisciplinary, we collaborate on virtually every project.

Edgar J. Christopher
Edgar J. ChristopherProf. PhD
Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA,USA

I have over 25 years experience using non-invasive imaging (electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and structural and functional MRI) to study brain function and structure in psychiatric and neurological patient populations. I am also interested in conducting the basic research needed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of neuroimaging techniques, as well as inform the development of more sophisticated analysis techniques. My most recent research has focused on studying brain structure and function maturation, with a current focus on infant and young child brain development. I have also received considerable training in clinical neuropsychology and psychotherapy techniques, and I am a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Pennsylvania.

Bassett Danielle
Bassett DanielleProf. PhD
Dept. of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

I have 10 years of experience in developing and applying tools from network science to under-stand large-scale brain connectivity estimated from structural and functional neuroimaging data from a wide range of modalities including MRI, fMRI, ECOG, DTI, DSI, and MEG in hu-mans, and from simulated data describing the activity of individual neurons or cortical columns. In our theoretical work, we seek to develop new mathematical methods for the principled char-acterization of temporally dynamic, spatially embedded, and multiscale networked systems, with the goal of predicting system behavior and designing perturbations to affect a specific outcome. In applications to neuroimaging data, we develop analytic tools to probe the hard-wired pathways and transient communication patterns inside of the brain in an effort to identify organizational principles, to develop novel diagnostics of disease, and to design personalized therapeutics for rehabilitation and treatment of brain injury, neurological disease, and psychi-atric disorders. Our interdisciplinary research program is facilitated by collaborations with re-search scientists around the world from diverse backgrounds including applied mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, computer science, statistics, neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry.

Blendy Julie
Blendy Julie Prof. PhD
Dept. of Pharmacology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

My research program is focused on investigating molecular, behavioral and genetic mechanisms underlying drug addiction and associated adverse phenotypes. Using a variety of mouse models, molecular characterizations and behavioral phenotyping we aim to discover the biological underpinnings  of substance use disorder. Currently we are interested in how drug exposure early in life, including in utero exposure,  can lead to altered behavior and molecular changes in response to stress or other environmental challenges later in life. A major knowledge gap in our understanding of the long-term effects of addiction concerns the molecular mechanisms of how alterations in the neuronal epigenome interact with genetic predisposition to addiction. Thus, we also use and/or generate mice that harbor human SNPS in genes associated with addiction vulnerability such as  the common A118G SNP in the mu-opioid receptor gene. Incorporating human GWAS findings in mice enable a greater understanding of the functional significance of such SNPS to promote translational science.

Raine Adrian
Raine AdrianProf. PhD
Department of Criminology, Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Neurocriminology, biosocial risk factors for antisocial, violent, and psychopathic behavior; nutritional and cognitive treatment programs for aggressive behavior; reactive and proactive aggression; schizotypal personality; developmental psychopathology; neuroethics; brain imaging; psychophysiology; behavioral and molecular genetics.

Kable Joe
Kable JoeProf. PhD
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

My expertise is in the cognitive neuroscience of human decision making (“neuroeconomics”), as well as in computational analyses of behavior and cognitive imaging data. My research investigates the neural mechanisms of human decision-making using a combination of techniques from experimental economics and cognitive and social neuroscience. Much of my work has focused on a particular kind of impulsive decision-making, choosing immediate rewards over delayed rewards. We have used fMRI to better characterize the properties of brain regions involved in valuing delayed rewards, linked differences in the activity and structure of these regions to differences in impulsivity, and studied how choices of delayed rewards were influenced by normative, contextual, and social factors. We have also studied not just one-off choices between immediate and delayed rewards, but also continued persistence in these choices over time, and discovered a critical role for uncertainty about the timing of future rewards in calibrating persistence.

Satterthwaite Ted
Satterthwaite TedProf. MD MA
Department of Psychiatry, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania,
Phildelphia, PA, USA

Main goal is to use multimodal neuroimaging to better understand psychiatric symptoms in the context of brain development and reward system function. Areas of focus include studying a) how functional brain networks evolve in health and disease and b) how reward system function relates to symptoms such as anhedonia that are common across multiple traditional psychiatric diagnoses. Throughout, I place a particular emphasis on the application of novel analysis methodology for integrating high-dimensional imaging, clinical and genomic data. Could we use this text for the website or do you have any requests for changes?

Hamilton Roy Hoshi
Hamilton Roy HoshiProf. MD MS
Department of Neurology, Philadelphia, PA, USA