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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Academic gastrologist Professor Stefan Schreiber is both a clinician and researcher exploring inflammatory bowel disease treatment.

In this podcast, he discusses

  • Why a patient may experience inflammatory bowel disease symptoms long before they present with classic indications for an inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis,
  • What statistical relevance human genetics and genomics play in predicting the disease occurrence and other efforts to explore inflammatory bowel disease causes, and 
  • How scientists are working to identify predictive biomarkers and other early indicators and challenges to these investigations.

Stefan Schreiber is professor of medicine and a director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine at Kiel Campus of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein. He also leads the Translational Inflammation Research group in the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at the university.

He helps listeners understand the two main phenotypes of inflammatory bowel disease pathology, namely ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Early indications that an individual may suffer from a form of IBD are lacking, and he along with many other researchers are trying to change this. Understanding both what causes IBD along with who is most likely to get it are key in battling a disease that has major day-to-day implications.

He describes challenges to these studies. For example, while 30% of the population have the variant that indicates risk, only 0.5% suffer a lifetime prevalence of bowel disease. So the genetics and genomics impact factor doesn’t present helpful odds for predicative purposes. However, many longitudinal studies are underway to get better information, and he describes the basics of their approach and agenda.

He says that if they can follow enough patients traveling from health to a manifestation of disease to find new early indicators, that would help a great deal, but these studies have to progress much further along still.  He advises listeners on how doctors understand the disease differently now, as less autoimmune and more a defense problem, which indicates microbiome and barrier development. He also discusses how relatively new IBD is and why this makes identifying environmental correlations difficult.

For more, see his informational page at the university,, as well as the page for the Translational Inflammation Research group, .

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