Marilyn’s Message February 2017

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Celiac disease research is desperately underfunded.

The primary reason that celiac disease research has historically been underfunded relative to other diseases with similar population prevalence and impact is the assumption that lifetime adherence to a strict, gluten-free diet effectively manages the disease.

We know now that this assumption is definitely not true for many in our community… and may not be true for most.

Throughout its history, Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) has been leading the effort to get more resources targeted at celiac disease research:

  • We are in Washington, D.C., before NIH and the FDA for more investments in celiac disease research.
  • We launched and are investing heavily in iCureCeliac®, a groundbreaking, patient registry that is already advancing celiac disease research even at this early stage of its development.
  • We continue to directly fund research, including ongoing and exciting projects at Children’s National Health System and at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

In another effort to advance celiac disease research, CDF has partnered with the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (NASSCD), the organization representing North America’s top celiac disease researchers, to create a Young Investigator Award (YIA). The YIA was created to help keep new and promising talent and ideas flowing into celiac disease research, rather than other areas of biomedical research that may have better funding opportunities. CDF has committed $150,000 to funding the YIA over the next three years. NASSCD has selected the first YIA recipient from a national competition. We are proud to congratulate Matthew Shale, MD, PhD, a research fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection.

Dr. Shale’s research is seeking to understand how the immune system in the gut knows “how to react and when to react.” Please watch his video to learn more about how this research may impact the development of treatments for celiac disease.

Why is advancing celiac disease research important to you?

Again, the more we learn about celiac disease, the more we understand that even strict adherence to a gluten-free diet may not be enough to mitigate the disease and its impact. We need approved treatments for celiac disease. We need a cure.

CDF is committed to enabling and funding the research that will bring us treatments and a cure. You can help. Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to support CDF’s research initiatives, including the work of our YIA recipient, Dr. Mathew Shale.

To Our Health,

Marilyn G. Geller
Chief Executive Officer