Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mouse model research for celiac disease

Here's excerpts from an exciting press release from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center:

"The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Advisory Board has partnered with The University to launch a two million dollar campaign to support the first-ever mouse model for celiac disease, the world’s most common genetic autoimmune disease. Celiac disease affects approximately three million Americans and is triggered by the consumption of gluten--a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

For the first time, researchers at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center will examine the underlying causes of the disease, test new therapies and identify new targets for treatment through mouse model research. Currently a gluten-free diet is only known treatment for celiac disease, offering only partial alleviation of symptoms...Bana Jabri, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Chicago Medical Center, one of the world’s leading celiac disease researchers, will develop the new mouse model with the goal of identifying new remedies and preventive treatments aimed at children of families with celiac disease history. The studies will also shed new light on events triggering the development of Type-1 diabetes....Dr. Jabri believes it is essential to create a mouse model of celiac disease to better understand the chain of events leading to celiac disease, its link to autoimmune diseases, and provide sustainable funds to continue programming for many years to come."

This is incredibly exciting news for the celiac community - the 5% who know they have it and the 95% who don't and will hopefully find out soon with increased education, research, and better diagnoses!

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