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Johannes Piepgras

Gut Homeostasis in Healthy and Pathological Ageing

Compelling evidence points to the gut as a starting point for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Enteric glia cells (EGC) are key players in the maintenance of gut homeostasis by modulating immune responses, epithelial cell maturation and neuronal activity. In this project, I will dissect the properties of EGC in murine models of healthy and pathological ageing and analyze their trophic capacities on murine and human colon preparations.

Positions held

  • Since 2024: Clinician Scientist funded by CHANCE, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center (UMC) and Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), Mainz
  • Since 2022: Residency, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center (UMC) Mainz
  • 2021: Clinician scientist as TransMed Jumpstart Short-Term Fellow (Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation), Department of Neurology, University Medical Center (UMC), Mainz
  • Since 2018: Residency, Department of Neurology, University Medical Center (UMC), Mainz
  • 2016: Residency, Department of Neurology, Charité-Berlin
  • 2014 - 2015: Clinician scientist, Department of Neurology, Charité-Berlin


  • 2019: MD, Charité-Berlin, Germany (magna cum laude)
  • 2007 -2014: Medical Studies, Charité-Berlin

Selected publications by Johannes Piepgras

Piepgras J, Rohrbeck A, Just I, Bittner S, Ahnert-Hilger G and Höltje M (2022) Enhancement of phosphorylation and transport activity of the neuronal glutamate transporter excitatory amino acid transporter 3 by C3bot and a 26mer C3bot peptide. Front Cell Neurosci, 2022;16:860823Link

Piepgras J, Höltje M, Michel K, Li Q, Otto C, Drenckhahn C, Probst C, Schemann M, Jarius S, Stöcker W, Balint B, Meinck HM, Buchert R, Dalmau J, Ahnert-Hilger G and Ruprecht K (2015) Anti-DPPX encephalitis: Pathogenic effects of antibodies on gut and brain neurons. Neurology, 85(10):890-897 Link

Piepgras J, Höltje M, Otto C, Harms H, Satapathy A, Cesca F, Benfenati F, Gitler D, Pich A, Zander JF, Ahnert-Hilger G and Ruprecht K (2015) Intrathecal immunoglobulin A and G antibodies to synapsin in a patient with limbic encephalitis. Neurology, 2(6):e169 Link