On Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, the Celiac Disease Foundation is joining with Takeda to sponsor the Columbia University Celiac Disease Center International Symposium on Celiac Disease. This Symposium, themed “Where are the patients and the therapies?” will be live streamed to the public. The Symposium, bringing together the leading celiac disease researchers and clinicians from around the world for presentations and lively discussions, is a follow-up to the SSCD Consensus Workshop on Celiac Disease Research held at Columbia in March 2020 that included, at our invitation, a representative from the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to featuring celiac disease experts, the Symposium will include a question-and-answer session with Patrick Maillet, Legislative Counsel to Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Chair of the new Celiac Disease Caucus on Capitol Hill. As you know, Congresswoman McCollum has celiac disease and she, along with a number of other Members of Congress, has been instrumental in our efforts to engage with NIH to secure long-overdue federal funding for celiac disease research – efforts that paid off with the release of the first Notice of Special Interest for celiac disease research last winter. The Foundation’s work on behalf of the celiac patient community in Washington, D.C. is far from complete, and Mr. Maillet, at the direction of the Congresswoman, has been a key ally working in the trenches to organize support for our efforts.

We want policies and therapies that will improve the quality of life for all those affected by celiac disease. We want a cure. This Symposium will bring together the best minds in the celiac disease space to discuss the best path forward in light of the considerable progress that has been made over the last several years. Made possible by your donations, we are proud to support this important convening and invite you to watch the live streamFollowing Mr. Maillet’s talk, the Celiac Disease Foundation will host another State Advocacy Ambassador Training to prepare new and current Patient Advocates to continue our work in Washington, D.C. We hope you will join for this as well.

Improving the quality of life for celiac disease patients and their families will always be the top priority of the Celiac Disease Foundation. While the Columbia International Symposium is the highlight of our spring calendar, there are more events that I want to bring to your attention. The Foundation is committed to investing in programs developed by leading academic research centers in celiac disease to educate healthcare professionals, researchers, and the patient community on the latest developments in disease diagnosis, treatment, care, and cure.

To increase the knowledge base of participants in the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of celiac disease, the Celiac Disease Foundation is sponsoring the Columbia University Celiac Connect Continuing Medical Education series. The first of 10 bi-monthly programs, “How Common is Celiac Disease Around the World? Role of Gluten Timing and Quantity, and Environmental Risk Factors,” will be held on April 1. The series is open to clinicians, researchers, dietitians and nutritionists, and patients.

There are more than 200 symptoms associated with celiac disease, including a host of debilitating neurological and psychological symptoms like brain fog, anxiety, and depression. Fortunately, and finally, there is compelling research being done in this field. The Foundation is sponsoring the upcoming University of Chicago continuing medical education webinar, Neurological and Psychological Implications in Celiac Disease, on April 23, 2022. This webinar will provide information on potential new therapies and the latest research relating to the neurological and psychological implications of celiac disease and is designed for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, researchers, other healthcare professionals, and patients.

To train a physician workforce that is better prepared to offer high-quality, patient-centric care for celiac disease, the Celiac Disease Foundation, in partnership with the Boston Children’s Hospital Celiac Disease Program, is supporting an international monthly case conference to discuss complex cases and strategies for celiac disease management. The case conferences are open to clinicians, including physicians, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, and social workers. The next case conference is coming up on April 14 and you can register here.

Around the world, important research is happening to accelerate the development of treatments and a cure for celiac disease. We know that it is important to bring these researchers together periodically to share and debate their findings. These convenings improve science. The Celiac Disease Foundation is proud to sponsor these sessions and to share them with the patient community. 

As always, your generous and sustained support makes all of our work possible. Please contact me if you have any questions about the programs listed above or the work we do to serve the celiac community.

To Our Health,

Marilyn G. Geller
Chief Executive