Robert Anderson, MB, ChB, PhD Will Oversee Research Programs and Partnerships

The Celiac Disease Foundation is proud to announce that Robert Anderson, MB, ChB, PhD, has joined the Foundation as its Principal Science & Innovation Advisor.  

A leading figure in celiac disease research, Dr. Anderson is also the recipient of the 2023 Celiac Disease Foundation Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research 

In his new role with the Foundation, Dr. Anderson will draw on his extensive background to provide scientific expertise and guidance to the organization and its stakeholders.  

“The goal of my career spanning three continents in academic, commercial, and clinical roles has been to ensure medicines will be available to support people with celiac disease. I have been an admirer of the tremendous progress at the Foundation over recent years, and especially of their initiatives to advance high quality research applicable to patients’ needs now and in the future,” said Dr. Anderson. “I first spoke at a CDF meeting 15 years ago and have seen the rapid growth in the organization. CDF is a world leader in supporting research in celiac disease; I am excited to have the opportunity to join as Principal Science & Innovation Advisor.”   

Dr. Anderson will manage multiple efforts, including: 

  • Identifying key research priorities and opportunities to address the needs of the celiac disease community. 
  • Managing research programs, including evaluating and selecting research projects. 
  • Establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with researchers, clinicians, institutions, and industry leaders in the field of celiac disease. 
  • Offering scientific leadership, expertise, and guidance to the Foundation. 
  • Participating in public and scientific outreach activities, such as conferences, seminars, and educational events, to raise awareness of celiac disease research and findings. 

Dr. Anderson’s academic journey began with undergraduate medicine and a PhD in New Zealand, followed by gastroenterology training in Melbourne, Australia. He initiated his celiac disease research at Oxford University before returning to Melbourne, establishing the celiac disease research program at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in collaboration with Coeliac Australia. Dr. Anderson transitioned from academia to commercial roles in Australia and the United States and continued his work on experimental immunotherapy for celiac disease. 

Dr. Anderson is distinguished in the field and has helped to cement the role of gluten-reactive T cells as the fundamental drivers of celiac disease. His work was first to show that T cells specific for gluten circulate in celiac disease patients’ blood, confirming celiac disease is a systemic disease not limited to the gut. Dr. Anderson continues development of T cell diagnostics and novel therapies as co-founder and director of Novoviah Pharmaceuticals in Queensland, Australia, and serves as President of the International Society for the Study of Celiac Disease.  

As part of his outreach, Dr. Anderson will attend the Asian-Pacific Celiac Disease Symposium, of which the Celiac Disease Foundation is a Silver Sponsor. The event, held in New Delhi, India, March 8-10, 2024, will include brainstorming among clinicians, scientists, nutritionists, and industry leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities for celiac disease in the Asian-Pacific region. Dr. Anderson’s participation is vital because, after being well documented in Europe and America, celiac disease is now becoming more recognized in Asian countries – though the infrastructure for diagnosis, treatment, and management is not yet well established.  

The Foundation is thrilled to welcome Dr. Anderson to our staff! 

Read more about how the Foundation is expanding in 2024.