My engagement in post-graduate and post-doctoral training and teaching. I am quite proud of these educational activities, some have even survived my immediate involvement and contributions.

My very first engagement is called "Little Brain - Big Brain" (LBBB) that was initiated in collaboration with Michael Schemann (Munich) ( in 1989, and is probably the longest-lasting self-organized young-investigator meeting I have heard of; it since then has been conducted every two years (, associated with the international meeting of the Federation of Neurogastro-Societies, but each time self-organized by two or more of the participants of the preceding LBBB conference. The LBBB tradition has received wide international attention, many of its former participants have become leaders in their field. The latest LBBB meeting was in Kleve, Germany in 2018, the next will be in Adelaide, Australia in 2021.

In 2003, 2004, and 2006 I organized three summer schools with a focus on neurogastroenterology, attended by more than 60 post-doctoral students Europe-wide, many of which have become successful researchers in their fields. These summer schools were conducted with support of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology (DGNM) ( (;,

Tübingen was the hub of an EU-financed Initial Training Network (ITN) NeuroGUT that I applied for, received funding and coordinated between 2014 to 2018 with 13 students participating from 8 European countries ( Three of the 13 students successfully studied and completed their PhD in Tübingen, and all students were motivated to stay in science. This was done with the strong support of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology (ESNM) (

In 2014, I encouraged some young investigators of the DGNM to develop a novel summer school format at the European level; this initiative is now called nEUROgastro TANDEM, has been associated to and supported by the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM) and was organized three times so far, in 2015 (Istanbul, Turkey), 2017 (Cork, Ireland) and 2019 (Lisbon, Portugal;, with approximately 20 participants each time.

Finally, in collaboration with the head of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Stephan Zipfel (, I have established - in 2009 - the post-graduate/post-doctoral training program CARUS in psychosomatic medicine, in collaboration with three other universities (Munich, Hamburg, Berlin), that is now part of the qualification program of the German College of Psychosomatic Medicine (DKPM) (see, a three-year course that runs ever since under the auspices of the DKPM, and includes in every course round approximately 30 new students.

Another tradition is about to start: The Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy in Tübingen had received funding for a German-Australian summer school Psycho  - Neuro - Gastroenterology, which was held in Tübingen in 2019 and will hopefully happen in Australia in 2021 - provided that the current COVID-19 pandemic will allow international travel again.

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