Prof. Stephan Schreiber is a physician, working as a gastroenterologist. He’s also a director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine at Kiel Campus of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. His main research focus has been the molecular etiology of chronic inflammatory diseases in the gut. He accepted to give us a quick overview of his work and future challenges after the UEGWeek.
1) Why did you participate in the UEGWeek, and what were some of the most important ideas presented at the conference?
The UEGWeek is becoming, increasingly, a melting pot for new concepts, science in progress and innovative clinical trials. This is one of the few meetings where translational science fills rooms with large [crowds], 500 and more people who come to discuss and listen.
2) What is the context of your work?
We try to define the basic principles of mucosal barrier function, with an immediate view to [inflammatory bowel disease, or] IBD but also clearly with the aspect that many chronic, non -gastroenterological diseases originate from a disturbed barrier function.
3) What were the main challenges and findings?
We want to create interventions that avoid disease manifestation.
Difficulties include the definition of the molecular “point of no return” for inclusion [in] the risk population, the type of intervention (should be safe but effective) and the long-term trials needed to show efficacy.
4) How could your work help clinicians in the future?
New paradigms will arise that [move] interventions to much earlier time points than today. This will make interventions more effective. We want to contribute novel principles to the new area of “microbiome therapeutics”.