Prof. Dr. Klaas Enno Stephan, MD Dr. med. PhD
Director Translational Neuromodeling Unit
Positions & Affiliations
Professor of Translational Neuromodeling, Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich & ETH Zurich
Director, Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU), Zurich
Principal Investigator, Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research (SNS), University of Zurich
Honorary Principal, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London
External Scientific Member, Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne
Klaas Enno Stephan is a computational neuroscientist and medical doctor. Following undergraduate studies in medicine, computer science and mathematics and the completion of his medical license, he obtained doctoral degrees in Medicine (Dr. med., Düsseldorf University) and Neuroinformatics (PhD, Newcastle University) and undertook postdoctoral training in computational neuroimaging at University College London. He was appointed Full Professor of Translational Neuromodeling at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, in 2011. Additionally, he has been Honorary Principal at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, London, since 2008 and External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne, since 2014.
Klaas’ scientific track record includes the development of the connectivity database CoCoMac and neuroinformatics tools such as Objective Relational Transformation (ORT) (with Rolf Kötter), development of computational modeling techniques such as dynamic causal models and Bayesian model selection (with Karl Friston and Will Penny), numerous studies of brain function and cognition in health and disease, and computational theories of disease mechanisms in schizophrenia (the dysconnection hypothesis, with Karl Friston). His scientific work has been recognized by several awards and honours, including the Wiley Young Investigator Award for Human Brain Mapping and election to the Max Planck Society.
Klaas’ present work focuses on developing “computational assays”, i.e., mathematical models for inferring mechanisms of mental diseases from non-invasive brain activity measurements in individual patients. The hope is that such assays will support more precise diagnostics and individualized treatment recommendations, leading to a redefinition of mental diseases and a transformation of clinical practice. In 2012, Klaas founded the Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU), an interdisciplinary institution at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, with the explicit mission statement to translate advances in computational neuroscience into diagnostic tools for clinical practice. At the TNU, computational scientists and clinicians jointly develop mathematical models of brain disease and evaluate their diagnostic use for psychiatry and neurology in patient studies.