The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is fortunate to support one of the best Celiac Research Programs in the world.  Our team is led by Dr. Bana Jabri who has contributed to ground-breaking celiac research and may be the first to create a mouse model for the disease--a critical key to developing THE CURE  for celiac disease.

In order to complete this project we need to raise $2 million; and for that, WE NEED YOUR HELP

Read our 2010 Research Summary Report here. 

If you would like to help fund our efforts, please click here.


The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Research Program, with the help of the celiac community at large, has already shed a new light on the pathogenesis of the disease. Now the progress made by our laboratory, in collaboration with Dr. Guandalini and other internationally renowned celiac disease experts, will lead to defining new markers and treatments for celiac disease.

Our team has also made important progress in the development of a mouse model for celiac disease. This will continue to constitute a major effort in the coming two years.

Additionally, Dr. Mala Setty, trained in Pediatric Gastroenterology with Dr. Guandalini and in research with Dr. Jabri, obtained a Research fellowship from the Association of Gastroenterology of America and a NIH training fellowship that will allow her to become a physician scientist trained to follow patients with celiac disease and to develop an independent research program in celiac disease.

Training young talented clinicians and investigators in celiac disease is another major effort conducted by the celiac disease research program at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.

More details about recent research progress:


Gluten sensitivity in absence of anti-transglutaminase or anti-endomysium antibodies is a disease entity that remains controversial. Yet, clinical amelioration after exclusion of gluten have been observed in such patients.

Research on gluten, as a danger signal, has led Dr. Jabri to predict that the danger response to gluten and the production of anti-transglutaminase or anti-endomysium antibodies are two independent events. Her laboratory has identified new markers that can be analyzed in tissues of gluten sensitive patients and of family members of celiac patients. This line of research has resulted in a new classification of celiac disease, given the ability to diagnose gluten sensitivity in patients that do not have other markers of celiac disease and to define new predictive factors of developing celiac disease in family members of celiac patients. 

These important findings have been the subject of several international communications. A manuscript summarizing these findings will be submitted by the fall of 2007. It is the result of an international effort led by the University of Chicago, involving 3 additional major celiac disease centers--New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and the University Frederico II in Naples, Italy.

Work continues to be developed in the laboratory to identify the exact nature of the danger signal. A highly experienced investigator is working on this difficult topic. This research is funded in big part through research gifts.


The immune network taking place in tissues, which can ultimately lead to destruction of tissues and inflammation, remains poorly understood. The University of Chicago Celiac Center Research team has identified a new connection between inflammatory lipid mediators and celiac disease that may explain why certain patients have a high degree of inflammation and may open a novel way of treating celiac disease.  This paper is presently under review in a high profile journal.

Important progress has also been made in identifying a new therapeutic target for refractory celiac patients for which there is presently no treatment. This treatment would promote the degradation of the receptors expressed on the immune cells that mediate the disease and the resistance to gluten free diet. A manuscript should be ready to be submitted by the end of the 2007 and there are ongoing discussions to begin treating refractory celiac patients with this treatment.  This research is funded through NIH.


Here also important progress has been made. Several genetic modifications have been introduced that have lead to the loss of tolerance to gluten in mice. Additional genetic alterations are presently being introduced, which should allow The University of Chicago Celiac Center Research Program to create a mouse celiac model reproducing the human disease. This project continues to be a major effort put forward by the laboratory of Dr. Jabri because such a model would represent a critical breakthrough in celiac research and have a profound impact on the future of celiac disease.  It will not only allow us to better understand the pathogenesis of celiac disease, but will also allow to develop and test new therapeutic avenues. This research is funded entirely through private gifts.