IDP Lab Zurich

Individual Differences in Psychosis

About the IDP lab

Located at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich, the Individual Differences in Psychosis (IDP) Lab studies the origins and clinical consequences of individual differences in psychotic disorders. Interested in working with us? Reach out.

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. From June 2021, Philipp will be Vicedirector and Chief Physician (Stv. Klinikdirektor and Chefarzt) at the University Hospital, and will continue to be 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.

Ellen Ji, PhD. Postdoc


Ellen completed her PhD at the Schizophrenia Research Laboratory, NeuRA in Sydney with Profs. Tom and Cyndi Weickert. There, she assessed the effects of adjunctive raloxifene treatment for schizophrenia and examined the relationship between circulating hormones and brain abnormalities in patients. After performing a number of case-control studies, she became particularly interested in understanding heterogeneity among patients. She is currently investigating how inter-individual variability in cognition may be linked to inter-individual differences in brain architecture in psychosis.

Wolfgang Omlor, MD, PhD. Resident 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. Resident 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.

Maria Neumeier. Resident physician


Maria studied medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. During her studies she joined a research project in the field of tumor immunology. She is a resident physician in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and has a special interest in psychotic disorders. Currently she investigates variability of side effects to antipsychotic treatment.

Simon Fuchs. Resident physician


Simon studied medicine at the University of Zurich (UZH). He started his specialty training at the department of Consultation-Liaison-Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine at the University Hospital Zurich (USZ) and is currently a resident at the Psychiatric University Clinic Zurich (PUK). He worked as a clinical scientist (USZ, UZH) for an ongoing multi-center study focussing on psychiatric and psychosocial aspects of brain tumors. His dissertation focusses on the prevalence of delirium and the impact of hospitalization characteristics on delirium across hospital services. His extended research interests comprise neurobiological factors in psychotic disorders.

Nils Kallen, MD. 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. Resident 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 Z├╝rich 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, MSc. 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.

Stephanie Homan, PhD. Postdoc


Stephanie completed her PhD at the University of Bern in 2019 and currently works as a postdoc and psychologist at the University Hospital of Psychiatry. As a clinician researcher, she is interested in the question of whether or not patients respond differently to interventions (antipsychotics, brain stimulation, psychotherapy). While Stephanie's primary affilition is with Birgit Kleim and the Experimental Psychopathology and Psychotherapy Group she still contributes to the IDP Lab with her expertise.

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 that characterize the overlap between mental health and illness in the psychosis spectrum (including schizotypy). 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.

Lena Hofmann, Resident physician


Lena received her medical degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. For her dissertation, she focused on the effects of high intensity neoadjuvant chemotherapy on the mortality of patients with gastric cancer. At the University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, she started out in the Department of Forensic Psychiatry, mainly working with offenders suffering from schizophreniform psychotic disorders. This sparked her interest in interrelations between neurobiological factors and aggressive as well as impulsive behavior.

Marius Brandenberg, Master student

Coming soon.

Alba Lopez, Master student

Coming soon.

Ueli Stocker, Master student

Coming soon.

External collaborators