Neurocognitive mechanisms of mental resilience

Within our research area “Healthy ageing, neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatry”, led by Kristina Endres, Katharina Geschke/Isabel Heinrich and Oliver Tüscher, we use a broad methodological spectrum spanning from preclinical lab work to clinical studies to investigate the mechanisms of healthy ageing. Based on these findings, we aim to develop preventive, disease-modifying and therapeutic interventions. Our interdisciplinary research group includes biologists, chemists, psychologists, physicians and computer scientists, enabling us to implement research from molecular mechanisms to clinical use. The results of our investigations are evaluated using a translational cycle, with the ultimate goal of fostering an ageing process that is as cognitively healthy and free of ailments as possible.

We work in close cooperation with the Centre for Healthy Ageing (CHA) to identify and investigate biomarkers and mechanisms of (healthy) ageing in neuronal tissues. Intervention strategies are tested on animal models ranging from C. elegans to mice. Using neuroimaging techniques, we translate this research to the human brain and study neural network mechanisms of resilient ageing – a conceptual framework we recently developed to explicitly understand and target those biological mechanisms which protect the brain and body against functional loss caused by ageing and ageing-related diseases.

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2022: Adjunct Clinician, Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) Mainz
  • Since 2020: Founding member, Research Group Leader and Head of the Clinical Investigation Center (CIC), Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), Mainz
  • Since 2018: Spokesperson of the Centre for Rare Diseases of the Nervous System, University Medical Center (UMC) of Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU)
  • Since 2016: W2-Professor of Mental Health and Cognitive Resilience in the Old Age, UMC/JGU and German Resilience Center (DRZ), Mainz
  • Since 2015: Vice-chair, Dept. of Psychiatry, UMC/JGU, Mainz
  • Since 2013: Attending in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, UMC/JGU, Mainz
  • 2010 – 2013: Residency in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, UMC/JGU, Mainz
  • 2009 – 2010: Residency in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg
  • 2006 – 2010: Head of the Emotion Regulation and Impulse Control Imaging Group (ERIC), Freiburg Brain Imaging, University of Freiburg
  • 2006 – 2009: Residency in Neurology, University of Freiburg
  • 2003 – 2006: Postdoc and supervised consultant service, Weill Medical College Cornell University, New York
  • 2001 – 2003: Residency in Neurology, UKE, University of Hamburg


  • 2013: Board certification for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
  • 2010: Board certification for Neurology
  • 2011: Habilitation for Neurology, University of Freiburg
  • 2002: MD/PhD in Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
  • 2000: Medical School, University of Heidelberg
  • 1995: Medical School, University of Bochum


Selected publications by Oliver Tüscher

Schäfer SK, Kunzler AM, Kalisch R, Tüscher O and Lieb K (2022) Trajectories of resilience and mental distress to global major disruptions. Trends Cogn Sci, 26:1171–1189 Link

Ahrens KF, Neumann RJ, Kollmann B, Plichta MM, Lieb K#, Tüscher O# and Reif A# (2021) Differential impact of COVID-related lockdown on mental health in Germany. World Psychiatry, 20:140–141 Link

Schaum M, Pinzuti E, Sebastian A, Lieb K, Fries P, Mobascher A, Jung P, Wibral M# and Tüscher O# (2021) Right inferior frontal gyrus implements motor inhibitory control via beta-band oscillations in humansElife, 10:e61679 Link