Celiac Disease Research
Critical Research Areas
CFCR Discovers the Difference Between CD & Gluten Sensitivity (GS) – Our research provides the first evidence of a different mechanism leading to GS. The study also demonstrates that GS and CD are part of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders.
Gluten Spectrum Disorders Identified – Dr. Fasano chaired a committee to define the difference between a wheat allergy, gluten sensitivity and CD.
Update on Zonulin – Dr. Fasano’s article, “Zonulin and Its Regulation of Intestinal Barrier Function: The Biological Door to Inflammation, Autoimmunity, and Cancer,” presents a detailed account of the intriguing role that zonulin plays in the development of a host of diseases.
Innate Immune Study and Chemotaxis Study – The CFCR is currently investigating the body’s natural response to gliadin in people with CD and gluten sensitivity to identify the very early event(s) responsible for the development of gluten spectrum disorders. Understanding these pathways may offer new preventive and therapeutic strategies for CD and possibly other autoimmune diseases.
Infant Nutrition and Risk of Celiac Disease – We continue to work on this study and have enrolled over 750 babies worldwide to examine whether delaying the introduction of gluten to an infant’s diet may prevent the onset of CD in genetically at-risk infants.
Possible Link Between Schizophrenia and CD/GS – The CFCR continues to investigate this link and the preliminary observations suggest that 1 out of 5 could be affected by gluten sensitivity and, therefore, can potentially benefit from a gluten-free diet.
Microbiome and Risk of Gluten-Related Disorders – The Chemotaxis and Autism Speaks Studies are looking at the changes in the normal internal flora and how that may relate to the development of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and autism.
Possible Link Between Autism and CD/GS – The CFCR is investigating a link between autism and gluten sensitivity. This study could potentially help identify the individuals with autism and gluten sensitivity who might benefit from a gluten-free diet.
Celiac Disease Research Registry – The CFCR’s celiac disease registry continues to expand, which will enable us to learn more about gluten-related disorders, their complications and co-morbidities.
Update on Alba Therapeutics – The CFCR continues to focus some of its research activities to develop alternative/integrated strategies to the gluten-free diet. Our efforts continue to provide the rationale for Alba Therapeutics to perform the clinical trials necessary to exploit these strategies.
Research Studies Currently Recruiting Participants
Infant Nutrition and Risk of Celiac Disease: Proposal for an Intervention, Prospective, Multicenter Study
The Center is working to develop a major intervention study in neonates aimed at establishing whether the timing of gluten introduction in the diet of infants, genetically at risk for celiac disease, may affect the chance to develop the disease.
CFCR Summer Internship Program
Internships are on a full time volunteer basis and are 6 to 8 weeks in length. The dates of the internships are general between June 1st and August 31st, but may be adjusted according to educational schedules. The number of internship slots available will vary from year to year and it is dependent on current projects and number of employees who are able to take a summer intern. Interns are assigned a project to work on according to their education level, interest and the current projects.
Most of the past interns have been students interested in becoming physicians, but other areas have included: Bio-Technology, Medical Technology, Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy. Past students have come from a very diverse background ranging from high school* to post graduate. Most of the students have been local but we have students from other areas of the USA, Spain, France and Italy.
We have two labs:
The CFCR lab is a fully equipped diagnostic laboratory that manages the day to day running of the Center for Celiac Research Studies.
The MBRC lab is a fully equipped basic science lab with expertise in molecular biology, intestinal pathophysiology, human genetics, and gut immunology.
To better understand the genetics of CD
To continue developing innovative strategies for the treatment and prevention of CD and gluten sensitivity
To continue to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on CD and gluten sensitivity to health care professionals, government agencies and industry
To study the psychological impact on the newly diagnosed patients and their families
In conjunction with John Hopkins University there is currently a proposal for a randomized double blind, controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of the gluten-free diet in the treatment of schizophrenia
To study the role of the microbiome and gluten sensitivity in the onset of autism
To continue the largest prospective study on infants at risk for CD to establish the natural history of the disease and identify preventive and therapeutic interventions
To develop biomarker(s) for gluten sensitivity
(The information provided is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The Center for Celiac Research disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.)