Photo of Alessio  Fasano, MD

Alessio Fasano, MD

  • Chief, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
  • Associate Chief, Department of Pediatrics, Basic, Clinical and Translational Research
  • Director, Center for Celiac Research


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Dr. Fasano sees pediatric and adult patients at the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment.



Centers & Specialties

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Clinical Interests
  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten-related disorders
  • Non-celiac gluten sensitivity
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Wheat allergy
  • Gluten ataxia
Medical Education
  • MD, University of Naples School of Medicine
  • Residency, University of Naples School of Medicine
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group
Adult and Pediatric

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World-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist, research scientist and entreprenuer Dr. Alessio Fasano is chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Dr. Fasano directs the Center for Celiac Research, specializing in the treatment of patients of all ages with gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease, wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity. He treats patients with acute and chronic diarrheal diseases, and treats infants and children who have difficult-to-treat gastrointestinal problems.

Dr. Fasano also directs the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center and is associate chief for Basic, Clinical and Translational Research. Under his leadership, investigators are studying the molecular mechanisms of autoimmune disorders including celiac disease, and other-gluten-related disorders. He has been named visiting professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He authored the groundbreaking study in 2003 that established the rate of celiac disease at one in 133 Americans. Widely sought after by national and international media, Dr. Fasano has been featured in hundreds of interviews including outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal; National Public Radio; CNN; Bloomberg News, and others.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Fasano is director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Dr. Fasano's research established that celiac disease affects approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population, a significantly higher number than previously believed, and helped define gluten sensitivity as a condition on the spectrum of gluten-related disorders. His research also uncovered the role that impairment of the tight junctions between intestinal enterocytes plays in the development of celiac disease.

During research designed to develop a cholera vaccine, Dr. Fasano uncovered a toxin, zonula occludens, which causes diarrhea by loosening the tight junctions and allowing intestinal permeability. Subsequently, he identified the protein zonulin, which controls this process. He has since established the role of zonulin in the pathogenesis of a number of autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and certain cancers and diseases of the nervous system.


View my most recent publications at PubMed

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News & Events

  • Pediatric Gastroenterology pioneer honored with endowed chair

    Alessio Fasano, MD, is named first incumbent of the W. A. Walker, MD Endowed Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

  • Delayed introduction to gluten appears not to prevent celiac disease in at-risk infants

    An study led by investigators at the MGHfC Center for Celiac Research and Treatment finds that neither breastfeeding nor delaying the introduction of gluten-containing foods prevents or delays the development of celiac disease in at-risk children.

  • FDA Implements Safety Standards for Gluten-Free Labeling

    Celiac patients and other consumers trying to sort the gluten-free from the gluten-filled, will have an easier time after August 5, when the FDA standards for gluten-free labeling go into effect.

  • Studying celiac's infancy

    Maureen Leonard, MD, is looking for 500 newborns at risk for celiac disease. The third-year Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) Pediatric Gastroenterology fellow is working with Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the Center for Celiac Research and division chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MGHfC.

  • Clearing Up Confusion About Following a Gluten-Free Diet

    In this news segment with Dr. Mallika Marshall from WBZ-TV Boston, Dr. Alessio Fasano, joined by patient Sharone Jelden, talks about diagnosis and treatment for celiac disease and who benefits from following a gluten-free diet.

  • Dr. Fasano Featured on MSNBC Talk on Leaky Gut and Painkillers

    Overuse of popular NSAIDs is associated with intestinal permeability, which is a condition associated with celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders. Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, discusses the implications of using popular pain medication in relation to gluten-related disorders and exercise.

  • Celiac Program at Harvard Medical School

    People with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders soon will have something to celebrate with the recent launch of the Celiac Program at Harvard Medical School. Advancing basic and clinical research is the main goal of the partnership of experts in celiac care from Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital, along with collaboration in clinical and training initiatives.

  • FDA sets new labeling regulations for gluten-free foods

    In a long-awaited step toward accurate gluten-free food labeling, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its definition of "gluten free" to be used by food manufacturers.

  • FDA Sets New Food Safety Regulations for Gluten-Free Foods

    The FDA has released its definition of "gluten free" to be used by food manufacturers. The long-awaited regulations stem from research conducted by the Center for Celiac Research.

  • Gluten-Free Diet Myths Examined in HuffPo

    Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, separates the myths from the realities about the gluten-free diet in this video with Huffington Post science editor Jacqueline Howard.

  • Expanding the Spectrum of Gluten-Related Disorders

    Transcending the disciplines of microbiology, molecular and cell biology, and physiology, Dr. Alessio Fasano's research focuses on the mucosal biology of the gut. By focusing on the "cross talk" between enteric pathogens and their hosts, Dr. Fasano's group has elucidated various organs and cell functions involved in health and disease, including inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

  • Make Gluten-Free Food Safe for Patients and Consumers

    Calling for action on the final steps before implementation of safe gluten-free labeling regulations, Dr. Alessio Fasano joined Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) in an Op-Ed published in the Huffington Post Healthy Living section on April 3.


Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-8705
Fax: 617-724-2710

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