Friday, December 13, 2013

MGHfC expands research efforts with new enterprise in Italy

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH: Kleinman, left, greets Salerno Mayor Vincenzo De Luca

MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) has partnered with the city of Salerno, Italy to establish an international research and education center under the direction of Alessio Fasano, MD, of the Center for Celiac Research and the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center, and Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MGHfC.

Researchers and staff from MGHfC will work with members of the European Biomedical Research Institute of Salerno (EBRIS) – a newly opened research and education center built on the ancient site of Salerno’s first medical school – to focus on celiac disease, gluten-related disorders and other autoimmune inflammatory disorders. Research projects include the timing of gluten introduction to infants and the role of inflammation in subgroups of patients with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder.

“MGHfC now has a physical presence in Europe at the institute,” says Fasano. “We also are working closely with two world experts in pediatric nutrition: Ron Kleinman, MD, MGHfC physician-in-chief, and Allan Walker, MD, the Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. With the world’s spotlight on nutrition and food sustainability, we will be able to contribute to the broad international discussion on nutrition.”

The two groups came together – along with other physicians and health care professionals from the U.S., Italy and other European countries – during a symposium in late October. During “Understanding and Treating Inflammation: A Transcultural Approach,” these international researchers and clinicians discussed both conventional and integrative approaches to health care, with a major focus on celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders.

“Our partnership with the city of Salerno in this pioneering European research and education initiative aligns perfectly with the mission of the MGHfC,” says Kleinman. “The translational research and education initiatives we are undertaking at EBRIS allow us to expand our interdisciplinary efforts to a new and very promising arena that will ultimately result in benefits for patients.”


Read more articles from the 12/13/13 Hotline issue.

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