Beyond Celiac and the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease select Arnold Han, MD PhD of Columbia U for Research Award

Beyond Celiac
Han will use the $180,000 Early Career Research Award to investigate the role of CD8 T-cells in celiac disease

AMBLER, PA — Beyond Celiac announced this week that Arnold Han, MD PhD of Columbia University has been selected to receive the 2022 Early Career Grant Award. The grant is designed to attract exceptionally promising early career academic investigators to the field of celiac disease research. SSCD peer-reviewed the applications and selected the recipient, and Beyond Celiac will provide grant oversight and funding of up to $90,000 per year for two years.

“We made attracting and retaining early-career investigators to the field of celiac disease, and funding translational research two key priorities of our scientific strategy,” noted Beyond Celiac Chief Scientist and Strategy Officer Salvo Alesci, MD, PhD. “Dr. Han’s career path and his proposed research are both well aligned with both priorities, and I am delighted that he was selected for this award.”

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Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease whose predominant feature is intestinal inflammation caused by abnormal T-cell responses to gluten. T–cells are critical components of the immune system and, when functioning normally, regulate the body’s immune responses to microorganisms that can cause diseases. In celiac disease, T-cells inappropriately perceive gluten as a threat and trigger an immune response, which damages the intestine and other organs. Han’s work will explore the contribution of a T-cell subtype, CD8 T-cells, to this abnormal immune response to help enable development of new therapeutic strategies.

“We are very pleased to partner with Beyond Celiac on this award,” noted Ciaran Kelly, MD, President Emeritus of SSCD and Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It is through collaborations such as this grant award that we will more quickly advance research to cure this serious genetic autoimmune disease.”

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“Our research has the potential to directly impact the millions of people living with celiac disease. I also strongly believe that our research in celiac disease will provide important clues to better understand other autoimmune diseases,” said Han. “I am honored to be entrusted with this funding for this critical research.”

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