Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

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The Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry (German: Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie) is a psychiatric institute in Munich, Germany. It is a part of the Max Planck Society.[1]


The Institute was founded as Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Psychiatrie (German Institute for Psychiatric Research) by King Ludwig III of Bavaria in Munich on February 13, 1917. The main force behind the institute was Emil Kraepelin. The Institute became affiliated with the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften (The K.W.Society for the Advancement of Science) in 1924. In 1928 a new building of the institute was opened at 2 Kraepelinstrasse. The building was financed primarily by a donation of $325,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation. Under the leadership of department heads Walther Spielmeyer, Ernst Rüdin, Felix Plaut, Kurt Schneider and Franz Jahnel, the Institute gained an international reputation as a leading institution for psychiatric research.[2]

During the Nazi era, Felix Plaut and Kurt Neubürger were dismissed from the Institute by the Nazi regime due to their Jewish origin.[2] Plaut was dismissed in October 1935.[3]

During the Second World War, the Institute's facilities sustained much damage. Research activities of the Institute were limited until the mid-1950s.[2]

In 1954 the Institute was incorporated into the Max Planck Society as successive institution of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften under maintenance of the foundation of 1917. The Institute was divided into an Institute of Brain Pathology and a Clinical Institute, both at 2 Kraepelinstrasse. In 1966 the Institute was renamed "Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry (German Research Institute of Psychiatry)”. In the same year, a new research clinic was opened in Kraepelinstrasse 10.[2]

In 1984 the theoretical part of the Institute moved to a new building in Martinsried, west of Munich. The Departments of Neurochemistry, Neuromorphology, Neuropharmacology and Neurophysiology were moved there. The Clinical Department, the Departments of Ethology and Psychology remained in Kraepelinstrasse. The independent Research Center of Psychopathology and Psychotherapy were closed.[2]

In 1989 the Institute's building in Kraepelinstrasse was renovated and enlarged with the addition of a new laboratory wing.[2]

In 1998 the theoretical part and the clinical part of the Institute segregated. The theoretical division of the Institute became the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology and the clinical part kept the name "Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry".[2]

The current director is Florian Holsboer.


The Institute is one of the leading research institutes on psychiatry. Physicians, psychologists, and natural scientists conduct research on psychiatric and neurological disorders and on the development of diagnosis and treatment.[4]

Many patients participate in different clinical trails each year. Extensive phenotyping of the patients with analysis of blood and fluid samples, clinical psychopathology and neuropsychological testing, neurophysiological methods, neuroimaging techniques, and protein and gene analyses form the basis to investigate the causation of complex psychiatric and neurological diseases.[4]

The concept of the Institute is based on a suitable balance between clinical and laboratory research. Research groups work on topics such as aging, anxiety, depression, neurologic diseases, psychopharmacology, schizophrenia, sleep, and other topics.[5]

The Institute consists of a 120 bed clinic equipped with laboratories for research on neuroendocrinology and sleep physiology, several special wards, a dayclinic for depression and psychiatry and various laboratories for cell and molecular biology.[5]

The Institute does research in magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. It has both a 1.5 Tesla and a 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance tomograph for examinations of humans, and a 7 telsa experimental magnetic resonance tomograph for animal studies. The studies of human NMR focus on the pharmacological effects and the topography of affective disorders and anxiety.[5]

Medical services[edit]

The Institute provides medical service for psychiatric and neurological disorders. It has a hospital, dayclinic for depression and psychiatry and several outpatient clinics. The hospital consists of four psychiatric and one neurological ward with 120 beds. It treats about 1500 inpatients per year.[6]

The Institute provides treatment for depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, sleep disorders, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Morbus Parkinson, restless legs syndrome, and endocrine diseases.[6]


  1. ^ "Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry". Max Planck Society. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "History of the Institute". Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  3. ^ Hippius, Hanns; Hans-Jürgen Möller, Norbert Müller, Gabriele Neundörfer-Kohl (2007). The University Department of Psychiatry in Munich: From Kraepelin and His Predecessors to Molecular Psychiatry. Springer. p. 94. ISBN 3-540-74016-3. 
  4. ^ a b "Research". Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  5. ^ a b c "Profile". Max Planck Society. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  6. ^ a b "Medical services". Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°10′25.16″N 11°34′34.09″E / 48.1736556°N 11.5761361°E / 48.1736556; 11.5761361