This project is founded since 2003 by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - DFG) as a Clinical Research Unit (Klinische Forschergruppe - KFO) for 3 - 6 years.

It is located at the University of Bonn and led by the Department of Surgery. The medical and basic sciences faculties take part in the project, out of the 8 individual projects 5 are run by medical and 3 by basic science researchers.


Operative procedures result in local and systemic consequences, one example is postoperative ileus.

This consequence is a surgical complication, even though it is clinically widely accepted as a “physiological” and unalterable response. Modern surgery has made a tremendous progress within the last years, but postoperative intestinal dysfunction still remains and the underlying mechanisms are not known. The number of abdominal operative procedures is still increasing and postoperative ileus accounts for many days of postsurgical hospital stay and therefore poses a considerable financial burden on the health system. These costs have been estimated at about 1 billion US $ per year in the US. The aim of this scientific group is to investigate the underlying initial actions as well as reactions, consequences and repair mechanisms, to define preventive measures against this postoperative complication.

The complexity of the underlying process can ideally be investigated by a joint effort of clinicians and basic scientists, therefore, our group consists of 8 individual research teams that collaborate on this matter.