Homan Lab Zurich

Homan Lab

About the Homan Lab

Located at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich, the Homan Lab studies the origins and clinical consequences of heterogeneity in psychotic disorders. Interested in working with us? Please read here.

Current members

Prof. Philipp Homan, MD, PhD. Principal investigator


Philipp is a clinician scientist at the University Hospital of Psychiatry and the Neuroscience Center Zurich. He is Associate Editor at the British Journal of Psychiatry. Philipp is Vicedirector and Chief Physician (Stv. Klinikdirektor and Chefarzt) at the University Hospital, and Principal Investigator of the IDP Lab where he is lucky to work with a wonderful group of talented people. Philipp studied business and computer science at the Technical University and medicine at the Medical University in Vienna. He completed his residency in psychiatry (with Werner Strik) as well as a PhD in clinical neuroscience (with Thomas Dierks) at the University of Bern in Switzerland where he was Attending Physician at the University Hospital and also led the Brain Stimulation Unit. He then did a two year fellowship with Daniela Schiller at Mount Sinai, New York after which he joined the faculty as Assistant Professor at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the Zucker School of Medicine in New York.

Finn-Lenart Rabe, PhD. Postdoc


Finn completed his PhD at the Neural Control of Movement Laboratory, ETH Zurich with Prof. Nicole Wenderoth. His research focused on cortical finger representations and their changes in healthy and tetraplegic patients. His main goals at the Homan Lab are to i) identify new biomarkers for psychosis by analysing the brain, eye and speech and ii) describing inter-individual temporal changes in psychosis using longitudinal studies.

Wolfgang Omlor, MD, PhD. Postdoc/Attending physician


Wolfgang studied medicine at the University of Tuebingen and as fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation at Harvard Medical School as well as the University of Oxford. Following his medical degree he studied natural sciences with focus on mathematics at the University of Zurich and completed his PhD in natural sciences with Prof. Helmchen. Clinically, he received two years of resident training in neurology at the University Hospital of Zurich (USZ) and he is currently resident at the Psychiatric University Clinic of Zurich (PUK). His previous research work was focused on neural circuit dynamics in the mammalian motor system and involved optogenetics, calcium imaging and electrophysiological approaches. He currently plans to explore the generation of motor symptoms in schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder by combining fMRI in humans with optogenetic and calcium imaging tools in mice.

Werner Surbeck MD, PhD. Postdoc/Attending physician


Werner studied medicine at the University of Zurich. After his training in neurosurgery, he specialized in epilepsy surgery and functional neurooncology before completing a PhD on the electrophysiological investigation of the insular region. At present, he undergoes additional specialty training in psychiatry and is involved in research projects in the field of brain-based semantic processing abnormalities in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

Nils Kallen, MD. Postdoc/Resident physician


Nils studied medicine at the University of Bern. He is currently a resident in psychiatry at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich and is interested in biomarkers of central system abnormalities that may predict conversion to psychosis in high risk subjects.

Giacomo Cecere, MD. Postdoc/Attending physician


Giacomo was born in Rome, Italy. He received his medical degree from Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome before moving to Switzerland. Giacomo is a third-year psychiatry resident. He has been working at the Zürich University Psychiatry Hospital since 2017. During his psychiatry rotations, he has been exposed to patients suffering from psychotic disorders, a topic that he hopes to further explore and study in depth as his residency progresses.

Rahel Horisberger, PhD. Postdoc/Senior psychologist


Rahel studied Clinical Psychology, Biology and Art History at the University of Zurich. She works as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist at the Psychiatric University Hospital in Zurich. Her current research activity for a dissertation focusses on the assessment and psychotherapeutic treatment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia (in collaboration with Prof. B. Kleim and Prof. S. Kaiser). The development of brief psychotherapeutic interventions for psychotic disorders in the context of acute inpatient treatment forms the extended focus of her research interest.

Foivos Georgiadis, MD. MD-PhD student/Resident physician

Akhil Misra, MSc. PhD student


Akhil studied Biology and Data Science at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali. After graduating he worked as a Research Assistant at Technical University Munich with Valentin Riedl. To further pursue his interest in cognitive neuroscience, he is now doing my PhD with Philipp at the Homan Lab. In his project he will mainly focus on dense sampling techniques to elucidate the nuanced interpatient variability in schizophrenia.

Roya Hüppi, MSc. PhD student


Noemi Dannecker, MSc. PhD student


Noemi studied psychology and biology at the University of Zurich. After working as a clinical neuropsychologist at the Department of Neurology of the University Hospital Zurich for almost 3 years, she decided to focus on research full-time and is now doing her PhD with Philipp at the IDP Lab and with Nicolas Langer at the Methods of Plasticity Research Lab at the University of Zurich. In her project, Noemi will apply natural language processing, machine learning, and neuroimaging to identify language markers for psychosis and schizotypy. Together with Werner and their dedicated team of students, she is collecting data in the VELAS study. She was able to implement her own project idea within the framework of an SNF Doc.CH fellowship which will support her PhD for the entire period of four years.

Janani Panchalingam, Master student


Janani completed her bachelor's in Psychology with a minor in Biomedicine and she is currently completing her master's in Psychology at the University of Zurich. She gained experience in two internships, one in the field of eating disorders at the Privat Clinic Aadorf and the other in early psychosis at the Psychiatric University Hospital of Zurich. At the moment, she is working on her master's thesis /Adherence in patients with acute psychosis: Analysis of the influencing factors in a psychotherapy study with Motivational Interviewing/ within the MIA-study.

Anna Steiner, Research assistant


As a research assistant in the Homan Lab, Anna organises and coordinates the day-to-day running of the VELAS project, which focuses on semantic processing in the psychosis spectrum. She is also completing her Master's degree in Applied Psychology at the ZHAW. Anna previously worked in architectural offices for several years before starting her second career in psychology. In her work, Anna contributes her organisational skills and gains valuable knowledge and experience in the field of psychological research.


  • Simon Fuchs. Resident physician
  • Marius Brandenberg, Master student
  • Stephanie Homan, PhD. Postdoc
  • Alba Lopez, Research intern
  • Ueli Stocker, Research intern

External collaborators


  • Iris Sommer, MD, PhD. UMC Groningen
  • Brita Elvevåg, PhD. UiT Tromsø
  • Wolfram Hinzen, PhD. UPF Barcelona
  • Stefan Kaiser, MD. University of Geneva
  • Matthias Kirschner, MD. University of Geneva
  • Emre Bora, MD. Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey
  • Filip Spaniel, MD. National Institute of Mental Health, Czech Republic
  • David Cotter, MD and Mary Cannon, MD. Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland
  • Nicolas Langer, PhD. University of Zurich
  • John Kane, MD. Zucker Hillside Hospital, NY
  • Stefan Leucht, MD. TU Munich