Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Health over the Life Span

Principal investigators

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych. Manfred E. Beutel
Prof. Dr. rer. biol. hum. habil. Elmar Brähler
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Schmidt
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Matthias Michal
Dr. Dipl.-Psych. Ana Nanette Tibubos
PD Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych. Jörg Wiltink

Research topic

In order to develop strategies for the prevention of common mental disorders in the general population, we need evidence-based and detailed knowledge about their etiology, risk factors and their pathophysiology. Systematic analysis of population-based data and biomaterial is a prerequisite for the identification of the complex medical-biological and psychosocial interplay which is at the core of psychosomatic theory and clinical practice. Since 2007 we have been a central unit in the Gutenberg-Health Study (GHS), one of the largest German cohort trials performing deep phenotyping over the life span of a representative sample of inhabitants of the region. It has recently been extended to the Gutenberg Covid Study (GCS) assessing the health consequences of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic and the psychosocial measures to contain the pandemic on the health of the general population. The large-scale BMBF-funded consortium “GDR-past and mental health: Risk and protective factors” (DDR-PSYCH) analyses mental health repercussions of socialization in the GDR and the subsequent social, economic, historical, and environmental consequences of the German reunification. These secondary analyses of major German cohorts are supplemented by a long tradition of representative surveys conducted by Prof. Brähler since the seventies.


Healthy Campus Mainz surveys the over 31.000 students of Johannes Gutenberg-University holistically regarding physical, mental and social health and develops evidence-based measures for prevention and health promotion.


Long-term cancer survivors from large cohorts have been studied based on the cancer registry (MELA) and the childhood cancer registry (PSYNA).