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Our Science Team

Our Science Team

In 2018, Beyond Celiac announced the hiring of our first Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). In 2020, we added two new science leads to our team. Our CSOs lead the development and implementation of a transformational patient-centered research agenda focused on accelerating solutions toward new pharmaceutical treatments and a cure for celiac disease.

Read more about the Beyond Celiac Science Plan, spearheaded by our CSSO.

The Beyond Celiac Science Team

Debra Silberg, MD, PhD, FACG
Chief Scientific Officer

Debra Silberg, MD, PhD, FACG is an accomplished life sciences executive with deep experience across all stages of drug development. She serves as a Scientific Advisor to multiple pharmaceutical companies. She is currently a Scientific Advisor and on the Board of Directors of Ellodi Pharmaceuticals. She has held clinical leadership roles at AstraZeneca, Shire, and Takeda, where she served as the company’s Global Vice President of Clinical Development and Clinical Science Head for Gastroenterology. In this role, she was responsible for the Gastrointestinal (GI) program team, which included approximately 30 physicians and clinical scientists across the US, Europe, China, and Japan who were focused on several GI diseases, including celiac disease. Additionally, Dr. Silberg oversaw the clinical aspects and led discussions with regulatory authorities (FDA and EMA) to facilitate the advancement of numerous GI development programs. At Beyond Celiac, Dr. Silbery leads the organization’s science team and oversees the implementation of the scientific strategy and plan.

Kate Avery, MPH
Director of Research and Patient Engagement

Kate supports and engages patients and caregivers who share their experiences and stories with us in pursuit of increased diagnosis and improved disease management and treatment. She has worked on multiple qualitative and quantitative research projects focused on understanding the diagnostic and disease management experience and has long been interested in health communications and the patient journey.

Amy Ratner
Director of Scientific Affairs

With over two decades of experience in journalism, much of it centered around gluten-free living, Amy joined the Beyond Celiac team in 2016 to bring the latest celiac disease updates to the masses. She regularly reports on and curates the latest in celiac disease research and shares it in patient- and community-friendly language.

Erin Miller, MPH
Associate Science Project Manager

Erin monitors grant awards and project progress, tracks metrics for the Go Beyond Celiac registry, and provides support to Beyond Celiac advisory boards and scientific partners. Erin is a graduate of Brown University, where she earned both her undergraduate degree in Public Health and an MPH in Global Health.

The Beyond Celiac Scientific Advisory Board and Medical Advisory Council

Beyond Celiac has worked with experts in the field of celiac disease through its Medical Advisory Council since its founding. Established in 2003, the Beyond Celiac Medical Advisory Council has played an integral role in establishing and maintaining evidence-based standards for the organization and represents the very best in scientific and medical practice. In 2019, Beyond Celiac expanded its scope of expertise by creating its Scientific Advisory Board as one of the first steps in meeting the goal of finding new treatments and a cure for celiac disease. This new scientific advisory council includes celiac disease, immunology and drug development experts.

The Scientific Advisory Board

Bob Beall, PhD, Ad Hoc Advisory Member, Beyond Celiac board 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.

Shayna Coburn, Ph.D., 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, is the 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.

Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, is 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 currently serves as president of the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease.

Dale Young Lee, MD, MSCE, is the 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.

Stephen Miller, PhD, director of the interdepartmental immunobiology center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and research professor of microbiology-immunology

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.

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.

Kari Nadeau, MD, professor of pediatric food allergy, immunology and asthma and director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research, Stanford University

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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