UMD Center for Celiac Research Gets Record $45 Million Donation

October 28, 2010

UMD Center for Celiac Research Gets Record $45 Million Donation


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Major contribution will fund new research institute to investigate the autoimmune disorder.

Talk about a thank you. A “grateful patient” has directed a record $45 million donation to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, the Baltimore Sun reported. The donation aims to advance research and awareness of the autoimmune disorder.

Sheila Cafferty, an Indiana woman diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, and her husband were responsible for the record contribution, which included $5 million from the couple and an additional $40 million from a foundation the pair works with. The foundation declined to be identified, according to the Baltimore Sun. The Caffertys came to the Center for Celiac Research for answers after Mrs. Cafferty began suffering gastrointestinal issues.

The Center for Celiac Research will use the funds to build a “first of its kind” research institute to uncover more answers about celiac disease and its related diseases, including diabetes and multiple sclerosis, according to Dr. Alessio Fasano, the center’s director.

“Finding enough money is always a problem,” Fasano said in an interview about the donation. “What we really need for a major breakthrough is thinking out of the box, and this will allow us to do just that.”

For more details, read the Baltimore Sunarticle.