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Scientific Advisory Board

Board Chairs

Debra Silberg, MD, PhD, FACG

Chief Scientific Officer, Beyond Celiac

Dr. Silberg leads organization’s science team and oversees the implementation of the scientific strategy and plan, with a particular focus on deepening partnerships with scientists, key opinion leaders, policymakers and influencers across pharmaceutical companies and academic and government institutions.

Stephen Miller, PhD

Director of the interdepartmental immunobiology center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, research professor of microbiology-immunology, and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board

Miller is internationally recognized for his research on pathogenesis and regulation of autoimmune diseases. His work has enhanced understanding of the immune inflammatory processes underlying chronic autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease and could lead to potential treatments for these and other autoimmune diseases.

Current Board Members

Imad Absah, MD

Pediatric gastroenterologist and pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and assistant professor of pediatric medicine in the College of Medicine

Absah works in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine/Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He has a medical diploma and is board-certified in both pediatric and pediatric gastroenterology. In addition to celiac disease, his clinical interests include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gut permeability. He’s also a member of NASPGHAN’s celiac special interest group.

Salvatore Alesci, MD, PhD

SVP, Center for Clinical and Social Research, National Minority Quality Forum and Chief Scientific Officer, Invea Therapeutics; former Chief Science and Strategy Officer, Beyond Celiac.

Dr. Alesci Salvo brings a wealth of experience from the pharmaceutical industry as well as having a personal connection to celiac disease. He formerly served as the Beyond Celiac Chief Science and Strategy Officer.

Shayna Coburn, PhD

Licensed psychologist in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Children’s National Hospital and assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Coburn is in charge of psychosocial services in the Celiac Disease Program, which offers consultations and empirically supported interventions to help families navigate the challenges of diagnosis and management of the gluten-free diet. She is also contributing to the local and national celiac disease community through her development of support and coping skills groups, educational programming, advocacy and research. Her areas of expertise include coping and resilience in families with chronic illness, improving dietary adherence and promoting positive and constructive doctor-patient communication.

Lisa Fahey, MD

Co-director of the Center for Celiac Disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Fahey is a pediatric gastroenterologist at CHOP and an assistant professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As co-director of the CHOP Center for Celiac Disease, Fahey leads an interdisciplinary team of gastroenterologists, pediatric nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered dietitians, psychologists and researchers. In addition to her expertise in celiac disease, Fahey conducts clinical research related to eosinophilic esophagitis.

Tobias Freitag, MD

University Researcher, TRIMM – Translational Immunology Research Program, University of Helsinki

Freitag is an experimental immunologist, trained in clinical gastroenterology and rheumatology. He is a research group leader in the Translational Immunology Research Program at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, studying and developing therapeutic immune tolerance induction. His scientific research is focused on (mucosal) immunology and translational medicine, autoimmune diseases – particularly celiac disease, mechanisms of tolerance to intestinal antigens (food, microbial and self-proteins), immune regulation and vaccinology. He has co-developed mouse models of celiac disease, tolerogenic gliadin nanoparticles for the treatment of celiac disease (now in clinical phase IIb), and an adenovirus-vectored, nasal vaccine against Sars-CoV-2.

Benjamin Lebwohl, MD

Director of clinical research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University

Lebwohl is an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology and a practicing gastroenterologist at Columbia where he received his medical degree and was a fellow in digestive and liver disease, during which time he obtained a masters in patient-oriented research. He has published numerous studies related to celiac disease and previously served as president of the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease.

Dale Young Lee, MD, MSCE

Director of the Celiac Disease Program and medical director of clinical nutrition at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Lee is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of gastroenterology at the University of Washington. Most recently, he has published studies that evaluate alternative diagnostic methods for those with suspected celiac disease. Lee has expertise in the role of diet in digestive diseases, including numerous publications regarding dietary therapy and the influence of food additives.

Daniel Leffler, MD

Director of research, Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and medical director, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Leffler is a practicing gastroenterologist and celiac disease expert. He has published numerous articles about celiac disease and participates in clinical and translational research. He has been the recipient of a career development grant from the NIH, as well as multiple foundation and industry-sponsored grants. He lectures nationally and internationally and co-authored the book Real Life with Celiac Disease. Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten-Free.

Edwin Liu, MD

Director of the Colorado Center for Celiac Disease at Children’s Hospital Colorado and professor of pediatrics, gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, University of Colorado School of medicine

Liu is a practicing pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and a lead researcher of celiac disease in children. He recently published a study that showed an increase in prevalence in celiac disease in children and helped further understanding of celiac disease screening. Liu also studies the link between celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes.

Joseph Murray, MD

Professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and a gastroenterologist in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, department of internal medicine

Murray is a practicing gastroenterologist and leading authority in celiac disease, having published more than 100 research articles. He focuses on clinical epidemiology of celiac disease, the role of genetics in predicting disease, the development of animal models for the disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. Murray also studies the complications of celiac disease, including small bowel cancer. His research has been funded by the NIH.

Emeritus Board Members

Bob Beall, PhD

Ad Hoc advisory member and former president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Under Beall’s 21 years of leadership, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation applied innovative approaches to bring new therapies to patients. The life expectancy of those with cystic fibrosis rose dramatically and nearly 30 drugs were in development to treat all aspects of the disease, including its underlying cause.

Kari C. Nadeau, MD, PhD

John Rock Professor of Climate and Population Studies, Chair, Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Nadeau is an expert in adult and pediatric allergy and asthma. Her research focuses on understanding the increased prevalence of allergies and asthma, improving diagnostics and the immunological mechanisms underlying these diseases. She was the first to successfully desensitize individuals to more than one allergy at a time using multi-allergen oral immunotherapy. She does clinical research to provide safe and effective therapeutic options for those with allergies and asthma.

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