Dr. Alessio Fasano
Dr. Alessio Fasano

Director Alessio Fasano, MD, founded the Center for Celiac Research—the first center dedicated entirely to the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease (CD)—at the University of Maryland in Baltimore in 1996. He authored a groundbreaking 2003 study that established the incidence of CD as 1 in 133 persons in the United States. His research disproved the idea of CD as a pediatric condition limited to Europe. In 2000, Dr. Fasano discovered an intestinal protein called zonulin which is stimulated by gluten and modulates how tightly the cells of the intestine are held together. Modulating the function of this protein is presently an exciting potential therapeutic target for CD treatments alternative to the gluten-free diet (GFD). Dr. Fasano is passionate about cooking, especially about the creativity and discipline required to produce an outstanding dish. He enjoys reading, hiking, and sailing. His favorite motto is that “the world is more multifaceted than one could ever imagine,” which he clearly applies to his pioneering research initiatives.

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