Finding a Cure

Our Mission

The mission of The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is to cure celiac disease. As we focus on research toward a cure, we also strive to raise awareness and diagnosis rates through education and advocacy.

Our research team is led by Dr. Bana Jabri, who has contributed to groundbreaking celiac disease research and is the first to create a mouse model for the disease—a critical key to developing the cure for celiac disease.

Under Dr. Jabri’s leadership, our team is at the forefront of celiac disease research, sponsoring dozens of research projects in the last 10 years. In addition, our staff experts have authored or coauthored a more than 50 published celiac disease studies. Through our research, we’re striving to identify new treatments for celiac disease and to find a cure.

At The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, we know that, with the proper funding, we will cure celiac disease.

This is only possible with your generous donations and continued support of our work. We hope that you will consider being a part of the cure.


Our History


The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center was founded in 2001 by Dr. Stefano Guandalini, a world-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist and celiac disease expert.

Largely meant to combat the misconception that celiac disease is a rare disease and to properly educate both the general public and the medical profession, The Celiac Disease Center got its start as The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program with the help of Robin Steans and Leonard Gail, parents of one of Dr. Guandalini’s celiac patients at The University of Chicago. Dr. Guandalini, originally from Rome, Italy, was shocked to learn how few Americans were diagnosed with celiac disease when he came to the United States in the late 1990s. He quickly discovered the reason for the lack of diagnoses in the United States. It wasn’t that celiac disease was less common (in fact, current research shows that celiac disease occurs in approximately 1 in 100 Americans); rather, it was that US medical doctors had for years been taught that celiac disease was extremely rare. Therefore, they were not screening patients for the disease.

Determined to raise awareness, education, and diagnosis rates, and to get research underway, Dr. Guandalini joined forces with the Steans-Gail family and established a passionate advisory board. In 2007, as a result of its success, the organization was renamed The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and updated its mission to focus on research toward a cure.

In 2014 The Friends of The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center was established. The Friends of The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Founding Board is made up of individuals who have been committed to The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center for many years. This unique Board leads fundraising and awareness efforts across the country.

Serving as champions and mentors, the Founding Board is the primary network to assist anyone interested in raising funds through local events and promotions toward the broader work of The Celiac Disease Center. Those who host or co-host an event or promotion also have the opportunity to be a Friend of The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center each year.

In addition to conducting leading research and providing education and patient services for celiac disease, The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center consists of a network of doctors who specialize in neurology, thyroid disease, dermatology, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases and disorders that are often associated with celiac disease. These specialists collaborate to offer comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is led by the medical director and executive director.

Since its founding, The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center has directly assisted more than 100,000 people throughout the United States. The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center continues to advance, maintaining its status as a leading authority on celiac disease.

The Center is completely funded by donations.

Public policy

At The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, our predominant research vision is to unlock the mystery of the damage caused by gluten in people with celiac disease as a way to develop a permanent cure for this condition.

In our quest for the cure, we hope to develop an alternative to the gluten-free diet for medical treatment of celiac disease. We are also concerned with improving the diagnosis of celiac disease, as well as treating patients who respond poorly to a gluten-free diet. In addition, we are working to identify treatments to prevent the development of celiac disease in at-risk children.

From a public policy perspective, we were a founding member of the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA), the first-ever Washington, DC-based organization focused on better public policy for those living with the disease (labeling laws, school meals, insurance coverage). Its successes included the FALCPA Labeling Laws in 2008 and the FDA Standard in 2014. We also founded the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease. NASSCD is the society of medical, scientific, and allied health professionals in the field of celiac disease. The organization’s overall mission is to advance the fields of celiac disease and gluten-related disorders by fostering research and by promoting excellence in clinical care, including diagnosis and treatment of patients.

A few words from our founder

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is an international center of excellence providing comprehensive patient and professional education, expert diagnosis and treatment for both children and adults, groundbreaking bench and clinical research, and active leadership in advocacy efforts. The Celiac Disease Center is part of the University of Chicago, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Hear what our founder and medical director, Dr. Stefano Guandalini, has to say about The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

We are committed to finding a cure for celiac disease. Our efforts span the entire spectrum of celiac disease research, diagnosis, and treatment. We aim to educate all those affected by celiac disease to better understand it while we continue to search for better treatments and a cure.

We need your help to bridge the gap and find a cure for celiac disease.

See how you can get involved with our mission: