Our Unique Focus  >  Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an intestinal inflammatory disorder with an autoimmune component induced by dietary gluten and related proteins present in wheat, rye, and barley. Disregarded for a long time in the United States, Celiac disease is now known to affect 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. population—and its frequency is rising. On top of this, 97 percent of Celiac disease patients remain undiagnosed.

Celiac disease can take many forms. Nearly half of the patients with Celiac disease go to the doctor with typical intestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other clinical presentations include infertility, skin disease, neurological symptoms, fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, and growth retardation.

Our multidisciplinary research group combines clinical experts in pediatric and adult Celiac disease with an integrated research group led by Dr. Bana Jabri, who has been awarded the prestigious William K. Warren, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research—a first for anyone in the United States. The DDRCC collaborates closely with the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago. Our joint research program is focused on improving diagnostic methods, understanding the link between Celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes, and making new discoveries in the pathogenesis of Celiac disease that will impact treatment, follow-up, and diagnosis. 

Collaboration among clinicians and researchers at the University of Chicago will lead to more effective diagnosis of Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, and bring us closer to finding treatments that will eventually replace a gluten-free diet for celiac patients.

For information on Celiac Disease, visit the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.