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Home » Beyond Celiac announces award of grants for $1.6 million for critical celiac disease research

Beyond Celiac announces award of grants for $1.6 million for critical celiac disease research

March 27, 2023

PHILADELPHIA (Mar. 27, 2023) – Beyond Celiac, the leading catalyst for a celiac disease cure in the U.S., today announced five multi-year grants totaling $1.6M as part of a celiac disease research grant program. The grants fund research at prestigious institutions in five countries, making Beyond Celiac the premier nonprofit funder of celiac disease research worldwide.

The research projects selected for grants address non-invasive/minimally invasive biomarkers of celiac disease, the microbiome and restoring/inducing immune tolerance to gluten antigens. The projects, researchers and their institutions are:

Research Accelerator Grant Awards

  • Shed cell transcriptomics for the identification of celiac disease dynamics by Shalev Itzkovitz, PhD, at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel) in collaboration with the Schneider Children’s Medical Center (Petah Tikva, Israel)
  • Novel Biomarkers of mucosal damage for non-invasive diagnosis and monitoring of celiac disease by Michael FitzPatrick, MRCP, DPhil, (previous Beyond Celiac awardee) at University of Oxford (Oxford, UK)

Established Investigator Awards 

  • Identifying predictors for progressive phenotypes of Celiac disease by Rok Seon Choung, MD, PhD, at Mayo Clinic (MN, USA) in collaboration with the Naval Medical Center (MD, USA) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (NY, USA)
  • CeliAct(TIV) – Translocation, Inflammation and Virulence: dissecting mechanisms of gluten-microbiota interactions in Celiac Disease by Sónia Gonçalves Pereira, PhD, at the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (Leiria, Portugal), in collaboration with the Celiac Disease Research Center at Tampere University (Tampere, Finland)
  • Preclinical 2D celiac patient-based iPSC-small intestinal epithelial in vitro model by Kati Juuti-Uusitalo, PhD, at Tampere University (Tampere, Finland)

“Beyond Celiac is committed to a competitive process to identify and fund the world’s best and most promising research to accelerate research for treatments and a cure for celiac disease, and to help our celiac disease community members live longer, fuller lives,” noted Alice Bast, Beyond Celiac CEO. “We have committed more than $3M to directly fund celiac disease research in the last several years as part of our comprehensive Science Plan to have treatments toward a cure by 2030,” she added.

While continuing its work as a top recruiter for celiac disease clinical trials, Beyond Celiac led a rigorous grant selection process in the last quarter of 2022. The application process was competitive, with review by the members of the Beyond Celiac Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), led by Beyond Celiac Chief Science and Strategy Officer Salvo Alesci, MD, PhD. Working from recommendations by the SAB, final award selections were based on fit with established funding priorities.

Members of the SAB who served on the review committee include: 

  • Lisa Fahey, MD, is the co-director of the Center for Celiac Disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
  • Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, is the director of clinical research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
  • Dale Young Lee, MD, MSCE, is the director of the Celiac Disease Program and medical director of clinical nutrition at Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • Daniel Leffler, MD, is the director of research, Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and medical director, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Edwin Liu, MD, is the 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
  • Stephen Miller, PhD, is the director of the interdepartmental immunobiology center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and research professor of microbiology-immunology
  • Joseph Murray, MD, is a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic and a gastroenterologist in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, department of internal medicine
  • Kari C. Nadeau, MD, PhD, is the John Rock Professor of Climate and Population Studies, Chair, Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Donors and philanthropists interested in supporting Beyond Celiac research initiatives can direct contributions to innovative projects.

Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 133 Americans, more than half of whom are still undiagnosed. The disease causes damage to the small intestine, resulting in debilitating symptoms, and if left untreated, can lead to serious long-term health problems including infertility and some types of cancer.

About Beyond Celiac

Founded in 2003, Beyond Celiac is the leading catalyst for a celiac disease cure in the U.S., serving as a patient advocacy and research-driven organization working to drive diagnosis and accelerate the discovery of new treatments. 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 is creating a future in which people can live healthy lives and eat without fear – a world Beyond Celiac.


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