About Alessio Fasano, MD

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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Locations

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

Medical Education

  • MD, University of Naples School of Medicine
  • Residency, University of Naples School of Medicine

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Research

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.

Publications