Welcome to the Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Ruhr University Bochum!

Our interdisciplinary team is committed to excellence in research and teaching at Ruhr University Bochum, since April 2020 with Prof. Dr. Sigrid Elsenbruch as the new Head of Department. For medical students of the Faculty of Medicine, we implement a novel and innovative teaching concept combining theoretical knowledge with practical application during the first two years of medical school. Our translational research addresses different facets of acute and chronic pain, with a focus on visceral pain and the gut-brain axis. We build on long-standing scientific and clinical expertise and fruitful collaborations with national and international experts from multiple disciplines. Our aim is to elucidate mechanisms underlying and shaping the perception of bodily symptoms, including pain arising from different bodily regions. In order to clarify the trajectories from acute to chronic pain and to identify risk and resilience factors, we conduct studies in healthy individuals and in patients with chronic pain, combining methodological approaches from experimental pain and stress research with the cognitive and affective neurosciences. At RUB, we are part of the Research Department of Neuroscience (RDN) and International Graduate School of Neuroscience (IGSN), and our work is embedded within the DFG-funded collaborative research centres SFB1280 (‘Extinction Learning’) and SFB/TRR289 (‘Treatment Expectation’).