Friday, January 25, 2013

Center for Celiac Research joins MGHfC

Alessio Fasano, MD

After nearly two decades of providing clinical care for patients and conducting innovative research on celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders, the Center for Celiac Research has relocated from Baltimore to MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), as part of the MGHfC’s newly renamed Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center.

Alessio Fasano, MD, who founded the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1996 and the Mucosal Biology Research Center in 2003, is serving as director for both MGHfC research centers and also is the new chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Fasano and his team are international leaders in the research and treatment of gluten-related disorders. They launched a new era of awareness of the condition in North America in 2003 when they released results of an epidemiological study that placed the rate of celiac disease at one in 133 people in the U.S. Fasano went on to spearhead research that identified gluten sensitivity as a condition on the spectrum of gluten-related disorders.

“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Fasano and his team of research scientists and fellows to Boston,” says Ronald E. Kleinman, MD, physician-in-chief at MGHfC. “He is an internationally recognized investigator, a superb clinician and inspiring teacher. He’s just the right person to move our work forward as we expand our outreach to both children and adults with gluten-related disorders.”

Moving the center to MGHfC allows Fasano’s team to also partner with the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. The team will continue its work investigating potential links between gluten-related disorders and conditions such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder in certain subgroups of patients. They also are working to isolate a biomarker for gluten sensitivity. 

“After 16 years of conducting groundbreaking research and treating children and adults for gluten-related disorders, we’re looking forward to the next phase of discovery and treatment breakthroughs,” says Fasano. “By joining forces with other celiac centers in the Boston area, we will become one of the largest and most advanced facilities in the world to care for people with gluten-related disorders.”

The Center for Celiac Research’s patient clinic is scheduled to open in February in the Yawkey Outpatient Clinic, Suite 6B. For more information, visit and

Read more articles from the 01/25/13 Hotline issue.

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