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Revolutionizing Care: Exploring the Empowering Potential of At-Home Tests for Adolescent Celiac Disease Patients

August 31, 2023

Beyond Celiac and the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease award Shayna Coburn, PhD, of Children’s National Hospital, the 2023 Early Career Research Award

PHILADELPHIA (August 31, 2023) Beyond Celiac, the leading voluntary health organization accelerating research for treatments and a cure for celiac disease both nationally and globally, and the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (SSCD) announced today that Shayna Coburn, PhD, Psychosocial Health Director of the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Hospital, has been selected to receive the 2023 Early Career Grant Award.

The grant is designed to attract exceptionally promising early career academic investigators to the field of celiac disease research. SSCD peer-reviewed the applications and selected the recipient, and Beyond Celiac will provide grant oversight and funding of up to $90,000 per year for two years. 

Coburn’s research will investigate the effect that using at-home tests for gluten in urine has on the emotions and behavior of teenagers with celiac disease when the teens and their parents are also part of an internet-based support program. “Teens with celiac disease have an increased risk of poor quality of life and emotional distress as well as poorer adherence to the gluten-free diet as they enter this vulnerable stage of life,” says Coburn.

Teens are contending with transitions toward autonomy and independence and critically need to gain skills in managing the gluten-free diet, with support from their parents,  she notes. “The project would lay the groundwork for integration of at-home testing in clinical care and interventions designed to help teens with celiac disease take control of their health,” Coburn says.   

“We’re really excited to support this research because the findings could make a big difference for teenagers living with celiac disease,” explains Alice Bast, CEO of Beyond Celiac. “We are dedicated to finding real-world ways to help our community now while we work to accelerate research for treatments and a cure. The things we’ll learn from this study could definitely help these teens take better care of themselves and feel better overall.”

“Collaborating with Beyond Celiac to provide this grant offers a valuable opportunity to elevate our joint commitment to advancing celiac disease research,” notes Ciaran Kelly, MD, President Emeritus of SSCD and Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Together, we’re actively driving meaningful change for affected teens.”

In addition to her role at Children’s National, Coburn is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Beyond Celiac is focused on patient advocacy through the support of research both in the United States and abroad. The organization has committed more than $3 million to directly fund celiac disease research in the last several years as part of its comprehensive Science Plan to have treatments toward a cure by 2030.

About Beyond Celiac

Founded in 2003, Beyond Celiac is the premier nonprofit funder of international celiac disease research and catalyst for celiac disease treatments and a cure. By engaging with the top scientists in the field, making the right investments in research and supporting the broad community of those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, Beyond Celiac envisions a world in which people can live healthy lives and eat without fear – a world Beyond Celiac. 

(More information for researchers)

About SSCD

The Society for the Study of Celiac Disease is the professional organization of physicians, nurses, dietitians and allied health professionals in North America, Central America and Europe who specialize in the treatment of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.

SSCD is committed to advancing the proper diagnosis and treatment of these often-overlooked conditions, and to fostering research into new treatments that may give patients options beyond the gluten-free diet that is the current standard of care.


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