Junior Professor Dr. Kai Markus Schneider - Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizewinner 2024

Experimental Gastroenterology, RWTH Aachen University Hospital

The functioning of the human body is complex and involves interaction between different organs. The physician Kai Markus Schneider includes these interactions in his research work, recently enabling him to contribute to further deciphering the so-called gut-brain axis. A molecular circuit he discovered shows that psychological stress increases inflammation of the intestine. The results are reflected in modern treatment methods which now also seek to reduce stress signals from the brain to the gut in connection with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. 

Schneider has been working on this integrative approach since his student days – his research initially focused on how the gut influences inflammatory processes in the liver and bile ducts. According to the selection committee, the term “gut feeling” has taken on a new meaning as a result of his research.