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Beyond Celiac encourages celiac disease research through new grant for early career scientists

December 3, 2021

Beyond Celiac, in partnership with the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (SSCD), is seeking applications from highly motivated and talented early career academic investigators for a grant that will fund celiac disease research. One of the goals of the two-year, $90,000 per year award is to attract promising researchers to the field of celiac disease.

Beyond Celiac is funding and managing the 2022-24 grant, while SSCD will oversee review of the applications and select the grant winner. 

The award is intended to support a research project with the potential to advance the knowledge of celiac disease and accelerate discovery and development of treatments for celiac disease. It can be used for research focused on basic, translational, clinical or population studies, with higher priority given to translational research.  Translational research turns observations made in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public.

Although interest in celiac disease studies has been growing, this serious autoimmune condition remains underfunded and underexplored. 

The need for expanded financial support of celiac disease research was recently recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which last week announced new funding to support research specifically aimed at celiac disease. NIH noted a special interest in research on the origin or cause of celiac disease; the development of celiac disease; the identification of therapeutic targets; and the development of therapies or strategies to prevent, manage or treat the disease.

“While we applaud the NIH interest, we recognize there is still a dire need to support early career investigators with an interest in celiac disease in order to give them the resources they need to continue their work,” said Alice Bast, CEO of Beyond Celiac. “The Beyond Celiac-SSCD Early Career Grant will provide that support.”

“Establishment of this yearly Early Career Grant Award in partnership with SSCD is yet another strong sign of the Beyond Celiac focus on science and commitment to invest in innovative research aimed at improving knowledge of celiac disease and accelerating discovery and development of new treatment options for celiac patients,” said Salvatore Alesci, MD, Beyond Celiac chief scientist and strategy officer.

Beyond Celiac is committing to make the early career grant a recurring annual award, beginning with the first grant, which will be given out in Spring 2022.

“The commitment of a recurring funding opportunity represents a significant step forward for the community of researchers in celiac disease, and for the celiac community as a whole, ” said Benjamin Lebwohl, SSCD president and director of clinical research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. “ Supporting the pipeline of investigators is an investment in advances for years to come.”

Beyond Celiac and SSCD previously collaborated on a two-year $75,000 per year grant awarded in 2019 to Marisa Gallant Stahl, MD, of Children’s Hospital Colorado. Stahl’s study was designed to evaluate the impact of celiac disease on the health and quality of life of children who are identified through a mass screening program.  

Those interested in applying for the new grant can learn more here.

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