GF News: Record Gift Funds Celiac Research at University of Maryland

Big news!

The University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research is already known as a leading figure in the gluten-free community. Now, thanks to a $45 million gift, the university is poised to play an even bigger role.


The gift comes from a grateful patient who was diagnosed with celiac disease, and will be used to establish a new research center focusing on autoimmune diseases. There’s a great article, including a video from the news conference, on the University of Maryland – Baltimore’s website. To sum it up, though:

  • The center will focus on three areas: celiac disease, mucosal biology, and microbe /host interaction
  • At the start there will be 13 researchers, but the center hopes to ultimately employ up to 200 people
  • In addition to celiac disease, the center hopes to shed light on multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, asthma, and others
  • Research into celiac disease lends itself to a wider understanding of other autoimmune disorders, because it is the only one with a clear, known trigger (gluten)
  • Dr. Alessio Fasano, who currently directs the Mucosal Biology Research Center and the Center for Celiac Research, will direct the new center
  • The gift is the largest private donation in the University of Maryland’s history

You can learn more about the Center for Celiac Research on their site, which also has great resources for every facet of the gluten-free community.

4 thoughts on “GF News: Record Gift Funds Celiac Research at University of Maryland”

  1. I feel they need to put a lot of time and money into findind a drug that people can take to not worry about their gluten.My friend has it bad and it is hard to go to someones house and take their word that its gluten free foods.etc. then get home and have problems for 2-3 days..My heart breaks for him..MEDICINE IS WHAT THEY NEED. I had heard there was a pill that was suppose to be in Europe that works and here in the states this past Feb. but never heard further.

  2. As a person who has celiac, and a facilitator of a support group for the Celiac Disease Foundation, I would prefer the money be used for purposes other than finding a drug. Unfortunately, everyone wants a pill to pop these days, as a quick fix to everything. Perhaps if the pharmaceutical companies were to get involved, celiac disease research might get the attention it deserves, but personally I would prefer to eat healthy rather than have a treatment with side effects that might be worse than the disease. With a positive attitude and focus on the many healthy foods I can still eat, along with so many wonderful gluten-free products that are now available, celiac disease is manageable, and I am grateful that the treatment is just a medically prescribed diet. I would like to see some of the money used to increase awareness on the part of health care professionals, so that those with celiac disease can be diagnosed in a more timely fashion. Doctors need to be educated about how common celiac disease is and what the symptoms are. They also need to be told NOT to recommend going on a gluten-free diet until AFTER testing is completed. Could some of this money be used to lobby for routine screening to diagnosis celiac disease earlier, to avoid future health complications? Also, lobbying for labeling of GF products to make it easier to shop? How about more research to determine what environmental triggers seem to be causing more people to have celiac disease? Why do some people with the gene develop the disease and others do not? Many thanks to the individual who was so gracious to provide such a generous gift to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. Bless you!

  3. Steve ;

    Yes, I have developed itching in the last few months, especially. On the inside of my elbows and also my neck. I never, ever thought it could be celiac-related. I am pretty successful at keeping gluten-free. Have you found anything that helps you?


  4. We recently visited University of Maryland College Park and noticed there was a Gluten Free sign in their cafeteria but did not notice many actual food options. I hope this will also pave the way for you to be a leader for College/universities in offering celiac friendly dining to your college students and staffers. I know we will certainly look there if this were the case and so would many others. This is very exciting news!

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