The Research Committee oversees and provides guidance for iCureCeliac® research-related activities, including:

  • Informing researchers about iCureCeliac® and encouraging them to develop studies using iCureCeliac® resources.
  • Facilitating engagement between researchers and iCureCeliac® members.
  • Informing network members about the research process and soliciting their input on iCureCeliac® research activities including individual studies.
  • Facilitating the development of new research studies based on topics of importance to the iCureCeliac®community.
  • Publishing and disseminating results from iCureCeliac® supported studies.
  • Providing review and approval of all research studies to be conducted through iCureCeliac®.

Valerie Abadie, PhD

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Dr. Abadie is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, section of Gastroenterology. Dr. Abadie is internationally recognized for her expertise in mucosal immunology and celiac disease. Her work greatly contributes to increasing our understanding of celiac disease pathogenesis. A Celiac Disease Foundation Young Investigator Research Grant recipient, Dr. Abadie’s groundbreaking work includes the identification of the immune mechanisms leading to the loss of oral tolerance to gluten, and the development of the first pathophysiological mouse model of celiac disease, which represents a unique pre-clinical model for the evaluation of novel therapies for celiac disease. In particular, she demonstrated that retinoic acid, a Vitamin A metabolite, can synergize with the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-15 that is overexpressed in the intestinal mucosa of celiac disease patients to abrogate tolerance to dietary antigens like gluten and induce inflammation.

Using the newly developed mouse model of celiac disease, Dr. Abadie was able to demonstrate that the genetically predisposing HLA-DQ8 molecule, tissue transglutaminase 2 and B lymphocytes are all required to promote the development of villous atrophy, the most severe manifestation of celiac disease.

Daniel C. Adelman, MD

Research Chair

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Daniel C. Adelman, MD, is Aimmunes’s Chief Medical Officer. As an allergist and immunologist, he has led drug development at biotechnology companies for more than 20 years and taught and practiced medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, for more than 25 years. Most recently, Dr. Adelman spent seven years as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Development at Alvine Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, particularly celiac disease. He held the same positions, as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Development, during five years at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Earlier, Dr. Adelman served in various roles at Pharmacyclics, Inc., including Vice President of Clinical Operations and Biometrics, and was a Clinical Scientist at Genentech, Inc.

Dr. Adelman has published extensively in allergy, clinical immunology and autoimmunity, and oncology. He served on the Research Advisory Board of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) for more than five years and on the editorial board of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology for five years. He now serves on several clinical scientific advisory boards and on the editorial boards of Clinical Immunology and Journal of Clinical Immunology. Dr. Adelman holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned his MD from the University of California, Davis.

Michael Karp, MD, FACP

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Originally from New York, Dr. Karp moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s to attend Medical School at USC. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Medicine (since renamed the Keck School of Medicine).

He completed training in Internal Medicine at USC, was Chief Resident of the training program then joined the faculty of USC in July 2013.

As teaching faculty his role over the years has included supervision of medical students and residents during their training. This supervision occurs as an Attending on the General Medicine inpatient wards at the LAC+USC Medical Center, Keck Hospital of USC and in the outpatient clinics.

Soon after joining the clinical faculty, Dr. Karp was able to take on the role of Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency. This allowed him to increase his teaching responsibilities and mentor residents more closely.

One of his roles during this time was curriculum development, allowing him to steer the education of resident trainees in new directions. As one of the largest Internal Medicine training programs in the country, being in this position has allowed him to have significant educational influence over a great number of current physicians throughout the region, California, and the country.

His current role is that of Chief of the division of Geriatrics, Hospital, Palliative Care, and General Internal Medicine within the Department of Medicine at USC. The division is comprised of more than 50 full time faculty that provide over 20,000 outpatient visits per year, education and supervision to more than 300 inpatients per day, and participate in significant research and other scholarly activities.

Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, MS

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Dr. Lebwohl is a graduate of Harvard College, where he majored in music. He received his MD from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003, and then completed his internship, residency, and chief residency in internal medicine at Columbia.

He stayed at Columbia as a fellow in Digestive and Liver Disease, during which time he obtained a Masters in Patient Oriented Research from the Department of Biostatistics at the Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Lebwohl is the Director of Clinical Research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, where he is collaborating with institutions in the United States and abroad in the areas of the epidemiology, patterns of care, and the natural history of celiac disease.

He is a prior recipient of the American Gastroenterology Association Research Scholar Award (2014-2017), studying the health effects of gluten in large cohort studies. He is an associated scholar at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where he performs population-based research in celiac disease in the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He currently serves as a member of the Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee of the United States Food and Drug Administration. When he is not performing colonoscopy, Dr. Lebwohl plays cello in the St. Thomas Orchestra in Mamaroneck, New York.

Maureen Leonard, MD, MMSc

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Maureen Leonard, MD, MMSc, is assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, clinical director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Mass General for Children (MGfC), and co-Investigator of the Celiac Disease Genomic Environmental, Microbiome and Metabolomic Study (CDGEMM). As a physician-scientist, Dr. Leonard conducts work encompassing clinical and translational research programs in adults and children. Her research program is focused on predicting and preventing celiac disease through the CDGEMM Study. This study aims to identify biomarkers such as microbial “signatures” which may predict the onset of autoimmune disease in an international, prospective cohort of infants at risk for celiac disease. She also works to identify environmental factors that influence celiac disease onset and biomarkers that can predict intestinal healing. She collaborates with other researchers to create and perform clinical trials aimed at treating celiac disease in both children and adults.

Using the newly developed mouse model of celiac disease, Dr. Abadie was able to demonstrate that the genetically predisposing HLA-DQ8 molecule, tissue transglutaminase 2 and B lymphocytes are all required to promote the development of villous atrophy, the most severe manifestation of celiac disease.

Jocelyn Silvester, MD, PhD

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Jocelyn Silvester, MD, PhD, is an attending physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Silvester chairs the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Celiac Special Interest Group. She completed her PhD in Biology at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, prior to receiving her MD from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 2008. Dr. Silvester completed her residency at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada and her Fellowship in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Silvester continues to work as a general pediatrician in remote regions of Northern Canada as well as at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Kristin Yarema, PhD

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Kristin Yarema has a passion for bringing new medicines to patients. She has over 25 years experience working across the many different functional areas needed to make the promise of new medicines a reality.  Kristin started her career in biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing, earning her PhD at UC Berkeley, and spending time as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute in Gottingen, Germany.  She then moved into industry, working as a junior partner in McKinsey & Company’s global pharmaceuticals and medical products consulting practice, and later in a series of clinical development and commercial roles including Global Head, Strategic Marketing, at Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland.  Now back in the US at Amgen in Southern California, Kristin has overseen the US dermatology business, and served as Global Marketing Therapeutic Area head for inflammation, bone, and nephrology.  In this capacity, she has overseen pipeline development in multiple areas, including autoimmune disease. She was a driver of Amgen’s partnership with Celimmune to develop a new treatment for refractory celiac disease.  Currently, Kristin serves as Amgen’s Vice President for Global Product Strategy and Commercial Innovation. Kristin’s passion for improving diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease is also personal, with her elder daughter diagnosed at age 2 and other celiacs later discovered throughout her family.