Michelle Loher

LIFE Zurich

LIFE Fellow since 2023, University of Zurich

UZH Fellow Speaker

I am a PhD student in the Risk & Resilience research laboratory at the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development (Supervisor: Lilly Shanahan). My research focuses on developmental aspects of substance use, especially the non-medical use of prescription drugs among adolescents and young adults. My work is funded by a 4-year Swiss National Science Doc.CH grant (similar to an NIH F31 award), which will also allow me to spend one year at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan in 2024/25.
I obtained my first Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Subsequently I completed a second Bachelor’s degree and then a Master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Zurich (UZH). During my studies I worked as a nurse in a home for elderly people and tutored undergraduate students in an interactive proseminar, which teaches skills for obtaining a psychology degree and career entry. In my master’s thesis, I examined longitudinal associations between cannabis use and violence from adolescence to early adulthood in the “Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (z-proso)." After obtaining my MSc, I worked at the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, including the Zurich Youth Surveys, as a research assistant for 1.5 years.


Shanahan, L., Johnson-Ferguson, L., Loher, M., Steinhoff, A., Bechtiger, L., Murray, A., Hepp, U., Ribeaud, D., & Eisner, M. P. (2023). The worst and the best: New insights into risk and resilience in young adults from the COVID-19 pandemic. Adversity and Resilience Science, 4, 291–305. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42844-023-00096-y

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