Center for Celiac Research
- By Scott Adams
- Published 07/26/1996
- United States of America: Celiac Disease Support Groups and Organizations
In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research is an institution engaged in clinical care, diagnostic support, education, and clinical and basic science research in Celiac Disease.The paramount goal of the Center for Celiac Research is to increase the awareness of celiac disease in order to provide better care, better quality of life, and more adequate support for the celiac disease community. In order to achieve these goals the Center for Celiac Research has the following primary missions:
- 1) To support cutting-edge, innovative, interactive, multidisciplinary research in all aspects of celiac disease including (1) epidemiology research to establish the prevalence of the disease worldwide; (2) basic research (pathophysiology, autoimmune mechanisms, inflammatory processes, genetics); (2) clinical research (clinical spectrum of celiac disease, association with other autoimmune diseases, complications including infertility, osteoporosis and malignant transformation); (3) challenges of treatment of the disease (psychological impact of the diagnosis on family dynamics and on the acceptance of the gluten-free diet, toxicity of traces of gluten in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients);
- 2) Increase the awareness of the disease among (1) health care professionals including primary and subspecialty physicians, nurses, nutritionists and dietitians; (2) public and private health care providers; (3) food regulatory agencies; (4) legislators; (5) general population;
- 3) To provide state-of-the-art education opportunities for medical students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists in one or more of the broad areas outlined as mission 1; to offer educational exchange opportunities to international students, clinicians and scientists particularly from the developing countries;
- 4) To provide consultation in the area of basic and clinical aspects of celiac disease, advise on the most appropriate algorithm for diagnosis and treatment of the disease;
- 5) To implement the diagnostic tools for celiac disease including newly developed diagnostic strategies and international implementation of the standardization of these tools;
- 6) To provide expert consultantship or committee membership to both national and international agencies as well as industry engaged in activities in celiac disease.
Organization Plan of the CFCR
To achieve the mission and goals outlined in the previous section, it is pivotal that the Center has a multidisciplinary approach to research and education in celiac disease. Based on the recent scientific advances in this field, it became apparent that several expertises should interface under a common structure. Specifically the key components of the CFCR include:
(1) a diagnostic laboratory in which well standardized test for the diagnosis of celiac disease are used and implemented; (2) a strong clinical expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease; (3) sophisticated immunology components to study the autoimmune process involved in the pathogenesis of the disease; (4) a strong basic science laboratory with expertise in molecular biology, intestinal pathophysiology, human genetics, and gut immunology; (5) food technology to implement the guidelines for safe gluten- free products, to improve the quality and the economical impact of the diet for celiac patients (5) a nutrition core facility that can provide the most updated information on diet guidelines; (6) a psychological core component knowledgeable of the emotional impact of the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
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