Division of Neuropediatrics, Development and Rehabilitation

Research group leader


  • Prof. Dr. Maja Steinlin
  • Dr. med. Sebastian Grunt
  • Dr. med. Sandra Bigi
  • PD Dr. phil. Regula Everts
  • Dr. phil. Theda Heinks
  • Dr. med. Mária Regényi
  • Dr. phil. Ines Mürner-Lavanchy (Post Doc)
  • Salome Kornfeld (PhD)
  • Sandeep Kamal (PhD)

Research groups

  • Swiss Neuropediatric Stroke Registry (SNPSR; Prof. Maja Steinlin)
  • NEMO Research Group (PD Dr. phil. Regula Everts)
  • HERO Research Group (Dr. med. Sebastian Grunt, PD Dr. phil. Regula Everts, Prof. Maja Steinlin)
  • Oncology Study (Dr. phil. Theda Heinks)

Research focuses

  • Pediatric Stroke (Swiss Neuropediatric Stroke Registry)
  • Pediatric Neurorehabilitation
  • Brain lesions in childhood
  • Brain development in adolescence
  • Cerebral and cognitive development of preterm born children

Short description

Our research focuses on the neurological and neuropsychological sequelae in case of atypical development in childhood (pediatric stroke, traumatic brain injury, prematurity, cerebellar disorders, brain tumors, other oncological diseases). We investigate neural mechanisms of neurorehabilitation after stroke in childhood by means of resting state fMRI and follow very preterm born children by tracking their cerebral and cognitive development (structural and functional MRI) throughout childhood and adolescence. Our research helps to ameliorate prognosis and better consult parents, teachers and therapists in regard to the children´s development. Furthermore, we develop cognitive trainings and test their efficacy scientifically by assessing neural effects (fMRI) and cognitive changes after training. This allows us to support the quality of life, well-being and scholastic achievement of our patients.

Swiss Neuropaediatric Stroke Registry

We collect neurological,cognitive and neuroimaging data of all Swiss children suffering from stroke. This allows us to evaluat the problem of paediatric stroke, to formulate prognosis regarding the development and to get some understanding of the process of reorganisation in the developing brain (see also HERO study).

Recent publications:

  • Grunt S, Mazenauer L, Buerki SE, Boltshauser E, Mori AC, Datta AN, Fluss J, Mercati D, Keller E, Maier O, Poloni C, Ramelli GP, Schmitt-Mechelke T, Steinlin M. Incidence and outcomes of symptomatic neonatal arterial ischemic stroke. Pediatrics. 2015 May;135(5):e1220-8.
  • Goeggel Simonetti B, Cavelti A, Arnold M, Bigi S, Regényi M, Mattle HP, Gralla J, Fluss J, Weber P, Hackenberg A, Steinlin M, Fischer U. Long-term outcome after arterial ischemic stroke in children and young adults. Neurology. 2015 May 12;84(19):1941-7.
  • Studer M, Boltshauser E, Capone Mori A, Datta A, Fluss J, Mercati D, Hackenberg A, Keller E, Maier O, Marcoz JP, Ramelli GP, Poloni C, Schmid R, Schmitt-Mechelke T, Wehrli E, Heinks T, Steinlin M. Factors affecting cognitive outcome in early pediatric stroke. Neurology. 2014 Mar 4;82(9):784-92.

NEMO Research Group

The NEMO Study investigates the cerebral and cognitive development of very preterm born children during childhood and adolescence. First results point towards a catch-up of development of preterm born children which we can show on the level of the brain structure, functional networks (language, memory) and on a cognitive level.

Recent publications:

  • Everts R, Mürner-Lavanchy I, Schroth G, Steinlin M. Neural changes after different memory training approaches in children born very preterm. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 2015, 19:1-11
  • Everts R, Wapp M, Ritter B, Perrig W, Steinlin M. Effect of two different memory training approaches in very preterm-born children. Advances in Pediatric Research, 2:13, 1-11
  • Mürner-Lavanchy I, Steinlin M, Kiefer C, Weisstanner C, Ritter BC, Perrig W, Everts R. Delayed development of neural language organization in very preterm born children. Developmental Neuropsychology, 2014; 39(7):529-42
  • Mürner-Lavanchy I, Steinlin M, Nelle M, Rummel C, Perrig WJ, Schroth G, Everts R. Delay of cortical thinning in very preterm born children. Early Human Development, 2014; 90(9):443-50
  • Mürner-Lavanchy I, Ritter BC, Spencer-Smith MM, Perrig WJ, Schroth G, Steinlin M, Everts R. Visuospatial working memory in very preterm born and term born control children: Impact of age and performance. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2014; 9:106-116
  • Ritter BC, Steinlin M, Perrig W, Everts R. Do cognitive and behavioural measures of executive functions measure the same concept in children born very preterm? Child Neuropsychology 2014; 4, 129-144

HERO Research Group

The HERO Study, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation investigates functional reorganization of children after stroke prospectively with a cross-sectional and longitudinal study approach. By means of resting state MRI (rsMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and neuropsychological assements we are able to track the path of rehabilitation over longterm.

Recent publication:

  • Kornfeld S, Delgado Rodríguez JA, Everts R, Kaelin-Lang A, Wiest R, Weisstanner C, Mordasini P, Steinlin M, Grunt S. Cortical reorganisation of cerebral networks after childhood stroke: impact on outcome. BMC Neurol. 2015 Jun 10;15:90. doi: 10.1186/s12883-015-0309-1.

Oncolocy Study

This study aims to detect cognitive sequelae after oncological disease in childhood in a longitudinal way. The effect of cognitive trainings on the development of our patients is compared to the effect of sports training in these children. The study is performed in collaboration with Prof. C. Roebers, Institute for Psychology and the Institute for Sports Science University Bern as well as the University Hospital in Zurich.

Recent publication:

  • Margelisch K, Studer M, Ritter BC, Steinlin M, Leibundgut K, Heinks T. Cognitive dysfunction in children with brain tumors at diagnosis. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Oct;62(10):1805-12.

Further information

Research group’s website