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Oliver Tüscher

Systemic Mechanisms of Cognitive Resilient Ageing

About 20% of the ageing population compensate for average age-dependent decline (i.e. normal ageing) and show cognitive function comparable to younger people, i.e. show resilient (or optimal) ageing. To further investigate the mechanism conveying resilience to ageing, we conduct a longitudinal cohort study, which includes comprehensive neural phenotype information. 

We have currently added the “body dimension” by comprehensively phenotyping the (epi)genomic, proteomic, cellular-immunologic and cardiovascular phenotypic levels. Based on this, we investigate the potential molecular and cellular network mechanisms of resilient ageing in regards to cellular-immunologic (Bopp Lab, FZI/UMC) and epigenetic (Wild/Niehrs Lab, UMC/IMB), as well as cellular senescence mechanisms (Baumann Lab, JGU/IMB).

On a national level, the Leibniz Research Alliance (LRA) Resilient Ageing (co-led by O. Tüscher) combines the expertise of 15 Leibniz partner institutes across three Leibniz Association sections to develop and implement a strong interdisciplinary and cooperative research agenda on mechanisms of resilience and functionally adaptive vs. maladaptive responses during ageing.

Research website- Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research

Research website- University Medical Center, Mainz

Positions held

  • Since 2020: Research Group Leader and Head of Clinical Investigation Center (CIC), Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), Mainz
  • Since 2016: W2 Professor of Clinical Resilience Research at the Dept. of Psychiatry and the German Resilience Center (DRZ), Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz
  • Since 2015: Vice-chair, Dept. of Psychiatry, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz
  • Since 2013: Attending in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
  • 2013: Board certification for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy 
  • 2010: Board certification for Neurology 
  • 2010 - 2013: Residency, Dept. of Psychiatry, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz
  • 2009 - 2010: Residency, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Freiburg 
  • 2006 - 2010: Head, Emotion Regulation and Impulse Control Imaging Group (ERIC) at the Freiburg Brain Imaging, University of Freiburg 
  • 2006 - 2009: Residency, Dept. of Neurology, University of Freiburg 
  • 2003 - 2006: Postdoc and supervised consultant service, Div. of Neuropsychiatry, Dept. of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College Cornell University, New York
  • 2001 - 2003: Residency, Dept. of Neurology, UKE, University of Hamburg


  • 2011: Habilitation for Neurology, University of Freiburg 
  • 2002: MD/PhD studies within the DFG-Graduate program in Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg 
  • 1995 - 2000: Medical School, University of Heidelberg
  • 1992 - 1995: Medical School, University of Bochum

Selected publications by Oliver Tüscher

Schaum M, Pinzuti E, Sebastian A, Lieb K, Fries P, Mobascher A, Jung P, Wibral M and Tüscher O (2021) Right inferior frontal gyrus implements motor inhibitory control via beta-band oscillations in humans. Elife, 10:e61679 Link

Fischer FU, Wolf D, Tüscher O and Fellgiebel A (2021) Alzheimer’s Disease neuroimaging initiative. Structural network efficiency predicts resilience to cognitive decline in elderly at risk for Alzheimer's Disease. Front Aging Neurosci, 13:637002 Link

Gerlicher AVM, Tüscher O and Kalisch R (2018) Dopamine-dependent pre-frontal reactivations explain long-term benefit of fear extinction. Nat Commun, 9:4294 Link

Kalisch R, Müller MB and Tüscher O (2015) A conceptual frame-work for the neurobiological study of resilience. Behav Brain Sci, 38:e92 Link

Endres K, Fahrenholz F, Lotz J, Hiemke C, Teipel S, Lieb K, Tüscher O# and Fellgiebel A# (2014) Increased CSF APPs-α levels in patients with Alzheimer disease treated with acitretin. Neurology, 83:1930–1935 (#indicates joint correspondence) Link