Research at the LIR

At the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research, neuroscientists, doctors and psychologists work together in an interdisciplinary manner. They combine basic molecular research and human research using genetic, epigenetic, metabolic, biotechnological, physiological, psychological and social science methods. The LIR currently comprises eleven research groups. Special competencies exist in the fields of molecular biology, epigenetics and cellular neurosciences, namely functional imaging, computational modeling and machine learning, neurostimulation, and conducting randomized controlled studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Furthermore, three research platforms have been established, the services of which are also made available to cooperation partners for a fee. 

Strategies of the LIR

The Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research follows two strategies for researching and promoting resilience:

  1. Using various basic and application-oriented research approaches and methods, we are working to understand the mechanisms of resilience.

  2. Based on this knowledge, we develop psychological, pharmacological and biotechnological interventions that can promote resilience to stressful life events.

In addition, we offer science-based services to the scientific community and the general public. For example, through our research platforms and through guidance in the form of lectures and workshops, as well as our services for developing resilience training that is both needs-based and target group-specific. Our Competence and Consultation Center for questions about stress and resilience, as well as our Resilience Outpatient Clinic for stressed citizens, are currently under construction.

Research strategy 1: Understanding the mechanisms of resilience

The LIR conducts basic scientific and human studies to understand the neuroscientific and psychological mechanisms of resilience. In addition to the research projects of the work groups mentioned below, our long-term studies, the “Mainz Resilience Project” (MARP), “Longitudinal Assessment of Resilience” (LORA) and the “Gutenberg Brain Study” (GBS) should also be noted here.

Research strategy 2: Developing and implementing interventions

Building on the knowledge of resilience mechanisms, the LIR develops resilience-promoting interventions for affected individuals, for example psychological training methods, with which strategies can be practiced for re-evaluating stressful events in daily life, or neurofeedback and neurostimulation processes. In addition, the LIR conducts research on innovative pharmacological and biotechnological methods to promote resilience. The interventions are tested for efficacy in laboratory experiments and in randomized controlled trials.

If new methods prove to be successful, they will be adapted for modern media such as smartphone applications or online programs, for example. Proven interventions are implemented in 

on-site health promotion programs, either in companies or public institutions such as schools or universities. In addition, the LIR conducts systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the international level of knowledge, as well as representative surveys on stressful experiences and resilience, in order to identify target groups that can benefit from interventions that promote resilience.

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