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Zarnekow Development Prize goes to alumna of Jacobs University

Vera Storm


March 30, 2017

Dr. Vera Storm studies the way patients with cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease succeed in living more healthily. For her dissertation at Jacobs University in Bremen, the psychologist is receiving this year’s Development Prize of the Zarnekow Foundation.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain: In many diseases, lifestyle is the decisive factor in the risk of illness. A healthful way of living can help rehabilitate people who are already ill. How can patients be motivated to exercise more in their everyday lives and to eat a varied diet with lots of fruit and vegetables? Dr. Vera Storm examined this question in her dissertation at Jacobs University in Bremen. For her research she is now receiving the prestigious Development Prize in Rehabilitation Science from the Zarnekow Foundation.

A healthful lifestyle improves quality of life and reduces work time lost to illness. Vera Storm demonstrates that patients with high self-confidence succeed better in adapting their lifestyle. In addition, a well structured plan helps overcome problems. A promising approach is provided by Internet-based intervention platforms that give reminders for the yoga class, the back course, or the apple a day. The dissertation offers practical recommendations for action – for instance for medical rehabilitation or the promotion of health in the workplace. Another focus centers on recommendations for further research in health psychology.

“Through her work, Vera Storm is generating important ideas on how to support people in changing their behavior. For the future, Internet-based tools offer great potential, above all for rural areas,” explains mentor Professor Sonia Lippke of Jacobs University. Vera Storm is very pleased that this topic has also struck a chord at the Zarnekow Foundation. “The prize is a great recognition of my work. I thank Jacobs University for the valuable support I received while I was getting my doctorate.” She also received a stipend from the Wilhelm Foundation for Rehabilitation Research. Vera Storm can apply her findings to care for orthopedic and neurological patients. She now works in a rehab clinic in Lingen, Lower Saxony, in Germany. Before getting her doctorate at Jacobs University, she studied psychology at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and at the University of Hildesheim.

On March 22nd, the prize will be presented at the Colloquium for Rehabilitation Science in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Zarnekow Foundation honors researchers each year who have made an outstanding contribution to the topic of rehabilitation science. The prize comes with an award of 5000 Euro.

Additional information:

Thomas Joppig | Brand Management, Marketing & Communications
t.joppig [at] | Tel.: +49 421 200-4504