How does air pollution affect the lungs and nerve cells in the brain?

Regular exposure to polluted air, especially at high levels of pollution, is associated with acute and chronic respiratory inflammation. However, the causal links between the health effects of inhaling minute pollutant particles are difficult to prove, especially for chronic effects of prolonged contact. In a new research project, the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) and Italian colleagues are investigating the effects of air pollution on the lungs and neuronal activities of the brain.

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Study analyses: How stressed are rescue workers?

In cooperation with the University of Lübeck, the University of Bremen, the Ruhr University Bochum, the MSH Medical School Hamburg and the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB – the Workers’ Samaritan Federation) Dortmund, the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) has conducted a study to investigate how stressed rescue workers are. The focus was particularly on their own perception of stress and the physical examination of stress. The results of the study have now been published.

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New research project analyses different disease stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease for therapeutic steps

In a new research project, the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) and partner institutions are analysing the different stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, from benign steatosis to cancer development. The aim is to identify the mechanisms that initiate the different stages of the disease. Based on this, suitable time windows for therapeutic measures are to be developed. The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation).

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Project start: IfADo, ISAS and UKE research new corona testing and immunity determinations

The Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften – ISAS – e.V. and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) are working together on novel testing strategies for SARS-CoV-2 virus surveillance and determination of immunity. The project “Novel testing strategies for SARS-CoV-2 virus surveillance and determination of immunity” is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and will run for 18 months.

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“Best in Session Paper” award for Peter Bröder

Peter Bröde, research associate in the Sientific Department Immunology, received the “Best in Session Paper” award of the Health Protection and Occupational Safety Session at the Spring Congress of the Society for Occupational Science (Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft – GfA) in Bochum as co-author of the paper “Are one-hour measurements sufficient for assessing physiological heat stress?” together with Prof. Bernhard Kampmann, Bergische Universität Wuppertal.


IfADo is part of the German Center for Mental Health

The BMBF has announced the establishment of a German Centre for Mental Health in Bochum. The IfADo will contribute its competences in the field of labour research.

Mental illnesses mean a considerable loss of quality of life for those affected and represent an increasing problem for society as a whole. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has decided to establish a German Centre for Mental Health (Deutsches Zentrum für Psychische Gesundheit – DZP) to research the causes of mental illnesses and methods for their treatment. One of the locations of the DZP is the Ruhr University Bochum, where Prof. Dr. Silvia Schneider from the Research and Treatment Centre for Mental Health coordinates the newly founded research network “LIFE TBT”. As part of the network, the IfADo contributes its expertise in the field of mental health in the workplace.

Within this network, the expertise and common goals of renowned scientists in the research field are brought together throughout Germany, e.g. in basic research, clinical research and prevention and health care research. The research structures developed in this way are to be further networked and expanded and thus enable a faster connection to practice. The research network thus sets a new example for the successful and strong research networking within psychology, in which Prof. Dr. Michael Nitsche and Prof. Dr. Edmund Wascher from IfADo are also involved.

Whether a person becomes mentally ill or not depends on numerous factors. Characteristics of work such as work motivation and satisfaction and the way stress is dealt with also play an important role. Modern working conditions in particular are characterised by a high degree of cognitive and psychological challenges. The IfADo researches the potentials and risks of modern work with the aim of identifying favourable and unfavourable working conditions through a better understanding of risk factors and modifying them in a targeted manner. Understanding neuro-cognitive processes as the basis of experience and behaviour plays an important role in this. An important component is the “Dortmund Vitality Study”, which has been running since 2016, in which IfADo is researching the effects and correlations of age, working conditions, lifestyle and stress in order to be able to identify risk factors for mental illnesses such as burnout and depression earlier and to counteract them preventively. In addition, IfADo will contribute to the identification of biomarkers and the development of innovative therapies with its leading expertise in imaging and non-invasive brain stimulation.

The sites for the new DZP were selected after a multi-stage application process based on the recommendation of international reviewers. After the creation of an overall concept for the new centre, in which cornerstones for future research and cooperation as well as concrete content-related, programmatic and structural goals are developed, this will then be reviewed again by an international panel of experts.


IfADo expands systems biology approach with research MRI

Watching the brain at work and studying its functions – this is now possible at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The new three tesla MRI scanner will intensify interdisciplinary research at IfADo for the benefit and protection of working people.

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Michael Nitsche is among the “Highly Cited Researchers” 2020

Prof. Dr. Michael Nitsche is one of the most frequently cited scientists in his research field worldwide. The IfADo director and neuroscientist can be found in the annual list of “Highly Cited Researchers” of the US company Clarivate. Michael Nitsche is recognized for his exceptional research influence, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science. 

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