New awards honor exceptional contributions to the field of celiac disease
Los Angeles, CA May 11, 2022 – The Celiac Disease Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of two international celiac disease research prizes. The Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research recognizes investigators whose research has made a significant impact on clinical, translational, or transformative research in celiac disease. The Young Investigator Prize recognizes the exceptional achievements of an investigator in the early part of their career in celiac disease research.
A decade ago, the Foundation participated in the awarding of the William K. Warren Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research, a legacy gift to recognize investigators whose research was judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of celiac disease research. Continuing in this tradition, the Celiac Disease Foundation Board of Directors has created two annual prizes to promote breakthrough scientific research so we can, one day, live in a world free of celiac disease.
Joseph Murray, MD is the recipient of the inaugural Celiac Disease Foundation Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research. Dr. Murray, an internationally recognized expert in celiac disease, is a Professor Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and a clinician investigator and consultant in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Department of Immunology. He is also Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern Denmark. Dr. Murray’s research programs have been sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and several foundations and industry, and include the clinical epidemiology of celiac disease, the role of genetics in predicting disease, and the development of animal models for the disease and its associated dermatologic condition, dermatitis herpetiformis. His work spans the spectrum from bench to population studies both in the United States and Europe, and he led the first clinical trials of novel methods for treating celiac disease. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers, chapters, and books on celiac disease and esophageal reflux, including development of clinical guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease, establishing the frequency of celiac disease in the U.S., and describing the prevalence of morbidity and mortality in patients with celiac disease. He is a founder and past president of the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease and past chair of the Intestinal Disease Section of the American Gastroenterological Association.
Jocelyn Silvester, MD, PhD is the recipient of the inaugural Celiac Disease Foundation Young Investigator Prize. Dr. Silvester is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Director of Research for the Celiac Disease Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and co-Investigator on the Manitoba Celiac Disease Cohort Study. Dr. Silvester’s work bridges advocacy, translational research, and clinical research in both adults and pediatrics. In a short period of time, she has changed the face of celiac disease research with innovative and groundbreaking work, including being involved in clinical trials for alternative therapies to a gluten-free diet and leading a consortium of pediatric celiac centers across the United States to develop tools to improve follow-up care. Her early contributions to the Manitoba Celiac Disease Cohort Study lent valuable insights to the natural history of the condition, and her development of the GF-EAT questionnaire has given the celiac disease community a short, easy-to-administer way to assess adherence to the gluten-free diet. She led the DOGGIE-BAG study, which highlighted the impossibility of total gluten avoidance, and provided a template for how to study the gluten-free diet and how to measure gluten in food and in vivo. Dr. Silvester is co-Chair of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Celiac Disease Special Interest Group and serves on the AGA Institute Council Basic and Clinical Intestinal Disorders Section.
“It is our distinct honor to recognize Dr. Joseph Murray for his decades of visionary leadership and Dr. Jocelyn Silvester who, in the early stage of her career, is driving innovations in celiac disease research,” said Marilyn G. Geller, Celiac Disease Foundation Chief Executive Officer. “We hope that these prizes will inspire a new generation of researchers whose work in celiac disease will be invaluable.”
Prize recipients were selected by a distinguished jury of their peers. The $25,000 Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research and the $10,000 Young Investigator Prize will be formally presented to the recipients at the Inaugural Awards Reception on May 23rd held at Digestive Disease Week in San Diego, California.
The Celiac Disease Foundation thanks Immundiagnostik for their support of this year’s Young Investigator Prize.
About the Celiac Disease Foundation
Founded in 1990, the Celiac Disease Foundation is the nation’s leading patient advocacy organization dedicated to accelerating the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease. Through strategic investments in research, advocacy, and education, the Celiac Disease Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for the more than three million individuals in the United States affected by this chronic, immune-mediated disease. Hosting the iCureCeliac® patient registry and offering robust patient recruitment services through its iQualifyCeliac platform, the Celiac Disease Foundation targets patient candidates to speed enrollment and improve trial retention to drive discoveries that may lead to better treatments, and ultimately, a cure. For more information, please visit celiac.org.