In order to rapidly improve the daily lives of people suffering from mental illness, Fondation FondaMental Suisse has set itself a three-pronged scientific mission:

Discover new diagnostic and prognostic tools

Identify personalised therapeutic strategies

Develop research into e-health

In practice, five strategic research axes
around the most severe and resistant diseases have been chosen.

1. Better understanding for better care


Exploring the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders.

These projects are carried out by “ultra-specialist” researchers who seek to identify the mechanisms underlying the disorders: in order to be able to treat, it is first and foremost necessary to fully understand the causes. A translational dimension is required so that basic knowledge drives concrete applications. The aim is to facilitate prevention, to offer more precise diagnosis and to develop new treatments.

2. Create a shared bio-bank and a common database


Sharing to speed up the identification of biomarkers.

The aim is to identify biomarkers (genetic, epigenetic, endocrine, inflammatory, infectious, etc.) associated with bipolar disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, hyperactivity, borderline personality disorders, depression.
The process takes place through several stages starting by the creation of the infrastructure for the construction of shared clinical databases. Ultimately, it involves setting endocrine, inflammatory, infectious, etc.) associated with bipolar disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, hyperactivity, borderline personality disorders, depression.

The process takes place through several stages starting by the creation of the infrastructure for the construction of shared clinical databases. Ultimately, it involves setting up computerised files, centralising of the biological samples (DNA, RNA, serum, plasma, microbiota) in a common bio-bank where they can be processed and analysed. Another step is to fund the human resource requirements as well as the tools and scientific equipment necessary for the sometimes very complex analysis of biological data from patients subjects at risk and control groups.

3. Innovate using connected tools for participatory medicine


The advent of e-mental health to facilitate prevention, diagnosis and monitoring of those suffering.

Smartphone apps, smart data, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented therapeutic relationships… projects are selected for their innovative dimension, to improve prevention, diagnosis and monitoring of patients. We give great importance to patients and what they know and feel about their illness, in other words to their experience; this is why we work with them and develop the notion of the “patient expert”. They are involved in and are part of the progress because we are stronger together to conquer these illnesses.

4. Taking up the challenge of immuno-psychiatry


Diagnostic innovation and therapeutic advancements to prevent and treat differently

The development of this cross-cutting strategic domain illustrates innovation but also the need for a paradigm shift in mental health medicine. It is a new approach, clearly showing that psychiatric disorders are diseases like any others: preliminary studies provide real hope in this direction.

It is a conceptual revolution with countless diagnostic, clinical and therapeutic repercussions. The aim is to understand the mechanisms involved and to identify the immuno-inflammatory anomalies which trigger the disorders.

In addition to the considerable therapeutic implications, this approach will bring about a decisive breakthrough in the understanding of psychiatric illness and hopefully a step foward removing the stigma of mental illnesses, which are destined to become “diseases just like any others”.

5. Unite, train and reward the very best


Investing for the future

We are bringing together initiatives to unite, train and reward promising specialists; to attract and train the next generation of academics, to select and retain the best researchers. Congresses, MOOCs, scholarships, chairs; we are investing for the future.