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The research group of Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Herbert Schäfer from the research area "Integrated Miniaturized Systems (IMS)“ took part in the 5. ENS International Symposium in Boston from 8 to 11 April this year (ENS - Enteric Nervous System).
All participants of the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern presented one poster each of their research work on the enteric nervous system, which Prof. Dr. Karl-Herbert Schäfer likes to call "belly brain". In his working group, he is investigating, among other things, the possibilities of early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease via the gastrointestinal tract. At this point, the interaction of the intestinal nervous system with the entirety of the bacteria colonising the intestine, the so-called microbiome, is of central importance. Mr. Schäfer was the only German invited to give a lecture on this topic: „Microbiome, enteric nervous system and gut motility“.
Students, PhDs students and young scientists from the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern were represented with further projects: Ann-Kathrin Backes showed possibilities of freezing stem cells of the nervous system, Dr. Manuela Gries described a model system which imitates neurodegenerative diseases in the gut (Impact of neuropathological peptides on the ENS“), Maximilian Weyland showed the influence of various bacterial strains on the enteric nervous system („Interaction of various bacterial strains with the enteric nervous system and gut motility” ) and Rhazul Khasanov (in cooperation with the University Hospital Mannheim) presented an enteric wall grown in "a test tube" („Role of environmental factors in constructing of functional enteric nervous system for tissue engineering“).
Thus, four of a total of seven German poster contributions in Boston came from the working group of the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern, Zweibrücken location.
The University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern was in good company. Only two other German universities, Heidelberg and Tübingen, were even represented in Boston. This is a proof how respected the Zweibrücken researchers around Prof. Dr. Schäfer are internationally.