The mission of INTERPLAY for future health research is to unravel the (early) developmental origins and underlying mechanisms of the transition states of chronic somatic diseases and mental disorders.
Their interdependence will be explored with the ultimate goal to promote health of children and adolescents at an early stage in life. INTERPLAY will make a unique contribution to a planned DZKJ by developing and implementing concepts for the interplay between “early and late”, “risk and resources/resilience”, “health and disease”, “somatic and mental”, adding specific expertise and providing access to unique technologies, infrastructures, and real-life/ everyday intervention settings for implementation into practice in this field.
We envision to prepare a paradigm shift in early prevention and treatment of chronic disease in children and adolescents.
1. Design and implement novel early intervention strategies
Our research approach starts in the first 1000 days of life, spanning pregnancy and the first two years of childhood. This developmental stage represents a highly vulnerable period when adverse exposures or insults may impact somatic and neurocognitive development, and thus, increase the susceptibility for chronic diseases in later life. Additional moderators and mediators during childhood and adolescence can trigger the transition to chronic diseases (Fig. 8, Fig. 9). To prevent or interrupt the development of chronic diseases, INTERPLAY will pursue a four-step translational approach in a unique interdisciplinary network and infrastructures from bed to bedside and community, adding the key aspects and unique resources to the planned DZKJ.
2. Development of medical technologies & VIRTUAL HOSPITAL
To meet the technological challenges of the DZKJ, INTERPLAY offers innovative technologies, e.g. establishment of a VIRTUAL HOSPITAL platform or implementation of AI and machine learning (ML) in order to develop future preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic concepts.
3. Multidisciplinary research training academy.
We will build a unique multidisciplinary virtual training centre for young scientists with multiple backgrounds bridging basic and clinical research in the field of somatic and mental health in childhood and adolescence.