Prof. Dr. Susanne Zank

After studying psychology at the Technical University of Berlin and in Vancouver, Canada, Professor Dr. Susanne Zank worked as a research assistant, assistant, and senior assistant at the TU and FU of Berlin. In addition, she practiced as a licensed psychological psychotherapist at the Gerontopsychiatric Day and Polyclinic of the University Clinic. She obtained her habilitation in psychology at the FU of Berlin, and in 2006, she took over the chair of Clinical Psychology at the University of Siegen. Since October 2010, Professor Zank has been head of the Chair of Rehabilitative Gerontology and Director of the Center for Curative Gerontology.

From 2016 to 2020, she was the President of the German Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics, and from 2013 to 2023, she was the speaker of the interdisciplinary Graduate School of Gerontological Research on Well-Being (GROW). From 2013 to 2017, she was the Research Dean, and since 2017, she has been the Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences.

Her research focuses on stress and intervention research among caregiving relatives of dementia patients, intervention and rehabilitation research with older individuals, and the evaluation of outpatient and inpatient care. Together with her colleagues, she developed assessment tools for the burden of caregiving relatives (Berliner Invententar zur Angehörigenbelastung - Demenz, BIZA-D) and for screening depression (Depression in Old Age Scale - DIAS), which can be used for both research and quality assurance in practice.

Since 2016, she has been a co-leader of interdisciplinary studies on well-being in advanced age at the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health. Large, representative samples of people over 80 years of age were surveyed initially in North Rhine-Westphalia and nationwide since 2019. Her research in this area focuses on life satisfaction and well-being, health and illness, technology use, and the effects of traumatic experiences during World War II in advanced age. More information can be found under her publications.