Nils Winter
© Nils Winter
Nils Winter
Institute of Translational Psychiatry
University Hospital for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1
48149 Münster
T: +49 (0) 251/83 51847
F: +49 (0) 251/83 56612

Joined OCC in 2019

Research Project

Mental disorders are one of the major health problems of industrialized nations today leading to enormous suffering by patients and relatives and large economic costs. The promising field of predictive analytics provides us with the necessary tools to build and deploy individualized diagnostic and predictive models that will finally help us to individualize treatment strategies in psychiatry. These predictive models are able to autonomously learn from neuroimaging data such as Magnetic Resonance (MR) images of the brain how to predict i.e. treatment response or differentiate subtypes of depressive patients. The objective of my PhD project is the application of multi-variate predictive methods to the neuroimaging data acquired by the FOR2107 consortium in order to produce insights into the neurobiological aetiology of affective disorders that are clinically relevant and useful for individualized diagnosis and treatment. My research interest focuses on resting-state fMRI, Machine Learning, Deep Neural Networks and Bayesian statistics.

PhD Committee

Prof. Dr. Tim Hahn
Prof. Dr. Niko Busch
Prof. Dr. Dr. Udo Dannlowski


Kaehler, C., Cearns, M., Opel, N., Mehler, D., Emden, D., Leenings, R., … Winter, N. R., ... Hahn, T. (2019). Systematic Overestimation of Machine Learning Accuracies in Structural Neuroimaging Studies of Depression. ArXiv Preprint ArXiv:1912.06686.

de Kovel, C. G. F., Aftanas, L., Aleman, A., Alexander-Bloch, A. F., Baune, B. T., Brack, I., … Winter, N. R., ... Francks, C. (2019). No Alterations of Brain Structural Asymmetry in Major Depressive Disorder: An ENIGMA Consortium Analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(12), 1039-1049.

Repple, J., Zaremba, D., Meinert, S., Grotegerd, D., Redlich, R., Förster, K., … Winter, N. R., ... Dannlowski, U. (2019). Time heals all wounds? A 2-year longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging study in major depressive disorder. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience : JPN, 44(6), 407–413.

Repple, J., Meinert, S., Bollettini, I., Grotegerd, D., Redlich, R., Zaremba, D., … Winter, N. R., ... Dannlowski, U. (2019). Influence of electroconvulsive therapy on white matter structure in a diffusion tensor imaging study. Psychological Medicine, 1–8.

Han, L. K. M., Dinga, R., Hahn, T., Ching, C., Eyler, L., Aftanas, L., … Winter, N. R., ... Schmaal, L. (2019). Brain Aging in Major Depressive Disorder: Results from the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder working group. Biorxiv, 560623.

Repple, J., Mauritz, M., Meinert, S., de Lange, S. C., Grotegerd, D., Opel, N., … Winter, Nils R., ... van den Heuvel, M. P. (2019). Severity of current depression and remission status are associated with structural connectome alterations in major depressive disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 1–9.

Opel, N., Redlich, R., Dohm, K., Zaremba, D., Goltermann, J., Repple, J., ..., Winter, N. R., ... Dannlowski, U. (2019). Mediation of the influence of childhood maltreatment on depression relapse by cortical structure: a 2-year longitudinal observational study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1–31.

Opel, N., Redlich, R., Repple, J., Kaehler, C., Grotegerd, D., Dohm, K., ..., Winter, N. R., ... Dannlowski, U. (2019). Childhood maltreatment moderates the influence of genetic load for obesity on reward related brain structure and function in major depression. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 100, 18–26.

Enneking, V., Krüssel, P., Zaremba, D., Dohm, K., Grotegerd, D., Förster, K., ..., Winter, N.R., ... Dannlowski, U. (2019). Social anhedonia in major depressive disorder: A symptom-specific neuroimaging approach. Neuropsychopharmacology, 0, 1–7.

Repple, J., Opel, N., Meinert, S., Redlich, R., Hahn, T., Winter, N. R., ... Dannlowski, U. (2018). Elevated body-mass index is associated with reduced white matter integrity in two large independent cohorts. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 91, 179–185.

Opel, N., Amare, A. T., Redlich, R., Repple, J., Kaehler, C., Grotegerd, D., ... , Winter, N.R., ... Dannlowski, U. (2018). Cortical surface area alterations shaped by genetic load for neuroticism. Molecular Psychiatry.

Hahn, T., Winter, N. R., Anderl, C., Notebaert, K., Wuttke, A. M., Clément, C. C., & Windmann, S. (2017). Facial width-to-height ratio differs by social rank across organizations, countries, and value systems. PLoS ONE, 12(11), e0187957.

Conference Contributions

Winter, N. R., Beisemann, M., Leenings, R., Emden, D., Kähler, C., Opel, N., Redlich, R., ..., Hahn, T. (2019). Severity of Symptoms Is Associated with Accelerated Brain Aging in Depressive Patients. Poster presented at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Organization of Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Rome.

Winter, N. R. (2018). PHOTON Repository - Die Onlineinfrastruktur zur standortübergreifenden Validierung Machine-Learning-basierter Modelle in der Psychiatrie. Poster presented at the conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik und Nervenheilkunde e.V. (DGPPN), Berlin, Germany

Winter, N. R. (2018). From Domain-Knowledge to Automatic Feature-Engineering: Recent Advances in Machine Learning Technology for Individualized Prediction. Talk given at the 51st conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs), Frankfurt, Germany

Winter, N. R., Leenings, R, Kaehler, C. H., Emden, D., Opel, N., …, Hahn, T. (2018). BrainAge Estimated by Neural Networks Indicate Accelerated Brain Aging in Patients Suffering from Major Depressive and Bipolar Disorder. Poster presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the Organization of Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Singapur

Winter, N. R.  (2017). Multivariate Prediction Models in Psychiatry and Neuroscience: Promises, Problems, Perspectives. Talk given at the 2nd Rhine-Main Neuroimaging Retreat, Hohensolms, Germany


*1991 Groß-Gerau, Germany
2011–2014 Bachelor of Science in psychology, University of Frankfurt
2014-2016 Master of Science in psychology (focus on cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology)
2017 research stay, University Hospital Frankfurt
since 2018 PhD, Institute for Translational Psychiatry, University Hospital Münster