Research Topics

Our  research interests - in addition to continuously improving diagnosis and therapy - are mainly directed towards possibilities of more targeted and earlier intervention and prevention. In doing so, we follow a dimensional and transdiagnostic approach to understand central mechanisms of how psychiatric symptoms emerge across the lifespan.

Learning mechanisms

Learning mechanisms are central to transdiagnostic research that seeks to better understand common mechanisms of disorder. They describe and connect both the biological-neuroscientific and the psychological-cognitive as well as the social-interactive levels. Therefore, the influence of biopsychosocial factors on learning mechanisms is a central starting point of our research. From a better understanding of healthy as well as pathological processes in different developmental periods, we hope to identify targets for risk stratification and intervention. Ideally this can lead to personalized interventions, but support the establishment of prevention in clinical pratice.

Disease and vulnerability markers

To this end, we aim to identify meaningful and clinically relevant markers from the findings of our basic research. To this end, we also use various statistical methods to analyze the diverse biopsychosocial data from different developmental periods. In translational research approaches, the results are used to identify markers offer risk and targets for intervention and prevention as well as personalized therapy options. The selection, application and efficiency of interventions are monitored and evaluated in clinical studies.

Eight working groups

The research activities of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (CAPPP) are organized in eight scientific working groups. The disease-specific focus is on ADHD, complex developmental disorders, in particular autism spectrum disorders and the deletion and duplication syndrome 22q11.2, as well as anxiety disorders, thus covering a broad spectrum of child and adolescent psychiatry.

Intervention and health services in ADHD

Within the framework of the two large multicentre research networks ESCAlife and INTEGATE-ADHD, we are investigating the effectiveness of established forms of treatment, the quality of care and the frequency of occurrence of ADHD in children and adolescents in Germany. We are also trying to identify meaningful biomarkers that not only allow statements to be made about the course of the disease but are also helpful in selecting individually adapted therapy options.

Research Topics

Complex development disorders I - Autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability

In two major projects – the A-FFIP clinical trial and the ASD-Net research network – we are looking for ways to improve the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children and adolescents and to establish further effective therapeutic procedures. Among other things, we are testing whether the administration of oxytocin improves social skills. In ProVIA, another large multicenter project, we are working on the development of an app to help family members in their daily lives.

Research Topics

Complex development disorders II - Deletion and duplication syndrome 22q11.2

The focus of our research on deletion and duplication syndrome 22q11.2. is the exact assignment of genetic alterations to correlated symptom complexes. Particularly with regard to neuropsychiatric diseases, the aim is to identify meaningful markers for the risk of disease or the course of the disease, which can also provide assistance in the selection of therapy.

Research Topics

Cognitive and computational Neuroscience

Are healthy behavioral patterns that occur in connection with mental illness detectable in the brain? Can course models be created from the measured values together with the individual symptomatology? With the help of mathematical algorithms we try to combine biological, psychological and social data and to identify predictors for the course of the disease. An important parameter in our work is the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Research Topics

Neurodevelopment and disease mechanisms

The zebrafish is used to study the effects of risk genes on the development of psychiatric disorders. Experimental manipulations of genes during embryonic development in this model organism, which is similar to humans, allow the effects to be directly observed in the hatched zebrafish. In the process, its brain is imaged using modern imaging techniques.

Research Topics

Learning and motivation in developmental stages

This working group is concerned with the influences of environment and social surroundings on cognitive processes. How are motivation, learning and decision-making shaped in the course of development - especially in childhood and adolescence? Research and identification of potential risk factors for certain age groups would provide a concrete starting point for early intervention in the case of pathological deviations. In the best case, these findings could be used to create an individualized treatment or even prevention program.

Go to the research page of "Learning and motivation in developmental stages"

Translational intervention and prevention

Causal research on the development of mental disorders in childhood and adolescence takes up a broad framework spanning all working groups. In cooperation with the German Center of Prevention Research in Mental Health (DCPP) here at the Würzburg site, the need for, possibility of, and effect of prevention programs are investigated, implemented in a life-world-related manner, and tested and evaluated on a larger scale. Currently, the focus is on prevention programs against self-injury and borderline personality disorder.

Go to the research page of "Translational intervention and prevention"

Pharmacovigilance and therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM)

Our projects aim to improve the safety and effectiveness of drug therapy for children and adolescents with mental disorders. Since most of the active substances are only approved for adults, we investigate their interrelationships of dose, concentration, therapeutic effect and undesirable side effects in children. Standardized recommendations are extracted from the data collected in several multicenter and international observational studies and compiled in registries.

Go to the research page of "Pharmacovigilance and therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM)"


Portraitfoto von Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Marcel Romanos

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med.
Marcel Romanos

Klinikdirektor Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie

+49 931 201-78000

Portraitfoto von Prof. Dr. med. Lorenz Deserno

Prof. Dr. med.
Lorenz Deserno

W2-Professur für Experimentelle Neurowissenschaften in der Entwicklungspsychiatrie

+49 931 201-78090



Klinik und Poliklinik für KJPPP
Poliklinik und Privatambulanz
+49 931 201-78600

Zentrale Dienstnummer & Dienstarzt
+49 931 201-78888

Pforte Zentrum für Psychische Gesundheit
+49 931 201-76050

Sekretariat Tagesklinik
+49 931 250-8040

Prof. Dr. Marcel Romanos
+49 931 201-78000

Stellvertretende Direktion
PD Dr. Regina Taurines
+49 931 201-78010


Direktion / Prof. Dr. Marcel Romanos

PD Dr. Regina Taurines


+49 931 201-78040

+49 931 201-78620


Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie des Universitätsklinikums | Margarete-Höppel-Platz 1 | 97080 Würzburg | Deutschland