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Major steps forward
Save the dates!
Meet our new team members!
Introducing DynaMORE collaborators
DynaMORE info brochure printed & online
New conceptual paper on dynamic resilience research

Welcome to our 2nd newsletter! DynaMORE is an international research project that aims to promote stress resilience and improve mental health and well-being in the face of adversity. It is spearheaded by Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch from the German Resilience Center (DRZ) at the University Medical Center Mainz (UMC-MAINZ) and funded by the European HORIZON 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

Lots of new faces at the 2nd General Assembly (GA) meeting in Berlin, Germany, in April 2019. Highlights of the meeting were live demonstrations of planned interventions (EMIs) and of a wearable mobile health (mHealth) device that records physiological measurements (heart rate, temperature, skin conductance, movement etc.) as well as the shooting of the project video that is currently in production.

Major steps forward

This month, we'd like to announce major advancements in work package 4 (Multicentre studies for model and product validation), and work package 5 (Developing Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) and Ecological Momentary Intervention (EMI) platforms).

The work package 4 pilot study at the Charité in Berlin has started in April and is well underway. By mid-July, an estimated 20 participants will have been tested who completed two MRI sessions (test & retest) with two weeks in between during which they underwent EMA. The outcomes of this pilot study will further shape the resilience model and prepare the large multicenter study DynaM-OBS that will likely start in April 2020.

Dr. Carolin Wackerhagen preparing a participant of the pilot study for the first MRI session at the Charité.

At Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), progress has been made to reach the goals of work package 5:  A methodological study designed to investigate the optimal methodology of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) has already included and tested 90 out of 150 participants. In this study, university students are all doing EMA self-assessments for 14 days, and are randomized into receiving 3, 6 and 9 prompts per day. All participants are interviewed about their experiences with EMA after data collection is finished. The results of the study will optimize the EMA sampling rate in terms of compliance, participant burden and data quality, which will directly inform the EMA methodology for DynaMORE. The study also investigates and fine-tunes the psychometric properties of the EMA items used in the DynaM-OBS study.

Example of an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) on a smartphone.

In addition, the Center for Contextual Psychiatry at KUL has launched a project that aims to streamline implementation of EMAs and EMIs in the clinical mental healthcare system. The project is currently conducting focus groups with end users, such as patients and clinicians, in order to inform us on the barriers for implementation of interventions such as those targeting resilience mechanisms in daily life in DynaM-INT in the healthcare system. This project is part of a larger consortium for personalized psychiatry that is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Inez Myin-Germeys.

Dr. Zuzana Kasanova presenting insights on EMA self-assessment methodology during the 2nd General Assembly (GA) Meeting in Berlin, Germany, on April 2nd 2019.

Save the dates!

Pre-Symposium Workshop on Methods in Resilience Research
24 September 2019

Mainz, Germany
Contact: Martina Diehl

The DRZ, DynaMORE, and intresa offer a pre-symposium workshop on methods in resilience research on September 24. Topics include ambulatory monitoring, network modelling, and longitudinal analyses. Participation is free.

5th International Symposium on Resilience Research 
25 - 27 September 2019

Mainz, Germany
Contact: Martina Diehl

There is a fantastic line-up of speakers, including Richard Bryant, Christine Denny, Philippe Faure, Nicole Geschwind, Sam Golden, Israel Liberzon, Jan-Marino Ramirez, Gal Richter-Levin, Karin Roelofs, Arieh Shalev, Murray Stein, and Cynthia Stonnington. One major topic will be resilience to trauma; another key discussion will be on the best animal models for resilience research. Click to view the poster and scientific programme of the Resilience Symposium!

4th DynaMORE Steering Committee (SC)  & 1st EU Review Meeting
24 - 26 November 2019

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg   
Contact: Vanessa Köhler

Meet our new team members!

A cordial welcome to all of our new team members. Thirteen is the "lucky number" which means that the acceptance of the Institute of Medical Biometry and Statistics (IMBI) at the University of Freiburg (UKLFR) as the 13th consortium member will only bring us luck! Given the extensive expertise of team leader Prof. Dr. Harald Binder (left) and postdoc Dr. Göran Köber (right) in medical data science, luck may not even be needed.

Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch's group at UMC-MAINZ will be strengthen by a new PhD student in September 2019: Matthias Zerban (left) studied and received his Master's degree in Psychology in Frankfurt. Dr. Haakon Engen (right) received his doctorate's degree at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, and is already in the midst of his postdoctoral work for the DynaMORE project in the Kalisch lab, analysing data from the longitudinal MARP and LORA studies.

Dr. Judith van Leeuwen started working as a postdoc in the group of Dr. Erno Hermans at SKU in Nijmegen in January 2019. She completed her PhD at the University Medical Center in Utrecht where she investigated the effects of stress on the brain of bipolar patients and siblings of schizophrenia patients. Her role in DynaMORE is to build an IT platform on the servers in Nijmegen that can store all data collected from the wearable devices (smartwatches) and smartphones from each site. In about 1.5 years, real-time analysis of both types of data will be possible in Nijmegen for our intervention study DynaMINT. Right now, Judith and the technical group in Nijmegen are enabling data streaming from the smartphone app to the platform.
Jonas Albert is a senior researcher at IMEC, and the focus of his work is business modelling for digital health innovations as well as stakeholder-based assessment of health-related ecosystems and research around real-life trials in the the area of health innovation. He holds a Master's Degree in International Health & Social Management of the Management Centre Innsbruck, and has diversified work experience in the healthcare sector such as working as a paramedic, in the management of the University Hospital Münster, and for Duke Medicine Global (part of Duke University) in Health Business Intelligence. Jonas and Walter de Raedt from IMEC are leading the efforts around valorisation and exploitation within DynaMORE.
Netali Mor is a PhD student at the Sagol Brain Institute and at the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University (TAU). She holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Psychology, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Within the DynaMORE project, Netali is actively involved in both the observational DynaM-OBS study and the intervention-focused DynaM-INT trial as TAU is one of the multi-center study sites.
A new PhD student, Jeroen Weermeijer, has joined Prof. Dr. Inez Germey's group at KUL in Leuven. Jeroen holds a Master's degree in Psychology from KUL, and has a strong interest and background in technological innovation in mental healthcare. He is coordinating the integration of the RADAR-base platform within DynaMORE.
The research group of Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleim at UZH Zürich is now enriched by the new PhD student Marta Marciniak who obtained Master's degrees in Psychology and Cognitive Science as well as a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of Warsaw. In her DynaMORE-funded PhD research, she is focused on creating and testing Ecological Momentary Interventions (EMIs).

At the Charité, four female researchers are supporting the group of Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter and the DynaMORE project with their expertise in psychology, neuroscience and MRI technology. These are, from left to right: Dr. Carolin Wackerhagen (Postdoc), Antje Riepenhausen (PhD Student), Begüm Topaloglu (Master's Student) and Annika Dimitrov (Research Assistant).

Please email the project manager, Dr. Sara Stöber, or the dissemination manager, Dr. Nina Donner, when new research personnel joins your group, and send us their profile picture and contact information.

Introducing DynaMORE collaborators

We are very happy to have the following new collaborators on board: Gaby Lunansky (left), a PhD student at the Borsboom lab at the University of Amsterdam and the Cramer lab at Tilburg University, has joined DynaMORE as a collaborator on network modelling. In addition, Dr. Katharina Schultebraucks (right), a postdoc at New York University (NYU), has joined DynaMORE as a collaborator on machine learning-based predictions. We are looking forward to fruitful cooperation!

DynaMORE info brochure printed & online

DynaMORE represents a joint effort of experts in computer science, neuroimaging, psychiatry, psychology, behavioural neuroscience, molecular biology, microbiology, endocrinology, engineering and management who are organised within 10 different, expertise-based work packages (WPs). The ultimate goal is to develop a mobile health (mHealth) device that assists and guides people in a personalized manner through adverse life circumstance in order to prevent stress-induced clinical outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders. For more details, please view the web version of the DynaMORE info brochure. On site, you are also more than welcome to approach the team leader at one of our 13 partner institutions for a print version of the info brochure!
13 institutions from 6 countries (Belgium, Germany, Israel, The Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland) join forces within DynaMORE. To access the digital web version of the info brochure click here.

New conceptual paper on dynamic resilience research

Congrats to DynaMORE researchers Raffael Kalisch, Harald Binder, Jens Timmer, Ilya Veer, DynaMORE advisor Angelique Cramer, and collaborators from Cambridge, Amsterdam, Tilburg and Mainz who just were successful in having a new conceptual paper accepted for publication in  the journal Perspectives on Social Science. The paper on dynamic resilience modelling is entitled "Deconstructing and reconstructing resilience: a dynamic network approach" and is already openly accessible on Zenodo. The concept is effectively a roadmap for resilience research in DynaMORE and beyond. 


Anti-stress brain chemical is related to PTSD resilience after trauma
Fewer receptors for the anti-stress brain chemical nociceptin is associated with less severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in college women who have experienced sexual violence.
Science Daily, 30 April 2019

How to help teenage girls reframe anxiety and strengthen resilience
Anxiety is part of life. It’s not our job to vanquish these feelings. It’s our job to develop the resources we need to march forward anyway.
MindShift, 12 February 2019

Six ways to raise a resilient child
Want to help your children deal with stress and adversity? It’s easier than you think
The Guardian, 5 January 2019

What is stress resilience and can it be learned?
Interview with Jeremy Jamieson, a social psychophysiologist at the University of Rochester, 10 July 2018

For updates on resilience research in general, follow @ResilienceRes on Twitter!

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 777084. This newsletter reflects only the authors' view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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