TUM – Technical University of Munich Menü

Academic Career and Research Areas

The primary research interests of Professor Tölle are pathophysiology, diagnostics, and the prevention and treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.

Professor Tölle completed his study of medicine and psychology at the Universities of Bochum, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich. He earned his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Natural Sciences Faculty of the University of Düsseldorf and completed the doctoral part of his medical training at LMU Munich using fundamental research performed at Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry. He subsequently held research posts at the Institute for Histology, University of Porto, Portugal, and at MRC, Cambridge, England, in the Neurobiology Department. This was followed by clinical work at Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry. In 1995 he moved to the Neurological Department at TUM and set up an interdisciplinary research group for clinical and experimental research into pain, focusing primarily on the neurobiological mechanisms of neuronal plasticity in pain, pharmacological treatment and central imaging with fMRI and PET.


    • designierter Präsident der Deutschen Gesellschaft zum Studium des Schmerzes e.V. (DGSS) (seit 1. Januar 2011)
    • Sprecher des vom BMBF geförderten Deutschen Forschungsverbundes Neuropathischer Schmerz (DFNS) (seit 2002)
    • Deutscher Schmerzpreis: Förderpreis für Schmerzforschung der DGSS (1990)

    Key Publications

    Valet M, Sprenger T, Tölle TR: Studies on cerebral processing of pain using functional imaging: "Somatosensory, emotional, cognitive, autonomic and motor aspects". Schmerz. 2010; 24(2): 114-21.


    Boecker H, Sprenger T, Spilker ME, Henriksen G, Koppenhoefer M, Wagner KJ, Valet M, Berthele A, Tolle TR: "The Runner`s High: Opioidergic Mechanisms in the Human Brain". Cereb Cortex. 2008; 18(11): 2523-31.


    Freynhagen R, Baron R, Gockel U, Tölle TR: "painDETECT: a new screening questionnaire to identify neuropathic components in patients with back pain". Curr Med Res Opin. 2006; 22(10): 1911-20.


    Valet M, Sprenger T, Boecker H, Willoch F, Erhard P, Rummeny E, Conrad B, Tölle TR: "Distraction modulates connectivity of the cingulo-frontal cortex and midbrain during pain - a fMRI analysis". Pain. 2004; 109: 399-408.


    Tölle TR et al.: "Region-specific encoding of sensory and affective components of pain in the human brain: a positron emission tomography correlation analysis". Ann Neurol. 1999; 45(1): 40-7.