ONLINE CBBM Lecture - Translational Neuromodeling, Computational Psychiatry and Computational Psychosomatics

by Klaas Enno Stephan,

Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU), Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich & ETH Zurich

will take place on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 from 17:15 to 18:15 hours.


Host: Stefan Borgwardt
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy
University of Lübeck

For many brain diseases, particularly in psychiatry, we lack clinical tests for differential diagnosis and cannot predict optimal treatment for individual patients. This presentation outlines a translational neuromodeling framework for inferring subject-specific mechanisms of brain disease from non-invasive measures of behaviour and neuronal activity. Guided by clinical theories of maladaptive cognition and aberrant brain-body interactions, generative models can be developed that have potential as “computational assays”. Evaluating the clinical utility of these assays requires prospective patient studies that address concrete clinical problems, such as treatment response prediction. If successful, computational assays may help provide a formal basis for differential diagnosis and treatment predictions in individual patients and, ultimately, facilitate the construction of mechanistically interpretable disease classifications.

Klaas Enno Stephan is a computational neuroscientist and Full Professor for Translational Neuromodeling & Computational Psychiatry at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. His scientific work covers the entire translational pipeline, from the development of disease theories via the creation of computational methods to their application in clinical studies. A central goal is the development of clinically useful “computational assays” for psychiatry and psychosomatics. Based on generative models of brain activity and behaviour, the hope is that such assays will support more precise diagnostics and individualized treatment recommendations, leading to a transformation of clinical practice and redefinition of mental diseases. Current research foci include psychosis and brain-body interactions in depression. In order to enable the clinical validation of his work, Klaas founded the Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU) at Zurich, an interdisciplinary institution with the mission to translate advances in computational neuroscience into tools for clinical practice. The TNU assembles computational scientists and clinicians under one roof and operates a dedicated research clinic for evaluating the diagnostic and prognostic utility of computational assays in prospective patient studies. His track record includes pathophysiological theories of schizophrenia and depression, the development of open source and globally used computational tools for investigating human brain activity and connectivity, as well as numerous studies on psychiatric conditions and disease mechanisms. His work has been recognized by various awards and honours, including the Wiley Young Investigator Award for Human Brain Mapping and election to the Max Planck Society.