World-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist, research scientist and entreprenuer Alessio Fasano, M.D., heads the Center for Celiac Research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1996, the Center offers state-of-the art research, clinical expertise, teaching and advocacy for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy, for patients of all ages.
Trained in Naples, Italy, as a pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. Fasano was recruited to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1993 and founded its Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Puzzled by the absence of children exhibiting symptoms of celiac disease in the clinic, he resolved to uncover the mystery of missing American "celiacs." His perseverance in the face of skepticism about celiac disease in the U.S. eventually led to his publication of the groundbreaking study in 2003 that established the rate of the autoimmune disorder at one in 133 Americans.
His subsequent work includes numerous diagnostic and research breakthroughs, including the discovery of the ancient molecule "zonulin," which regulates the impermeability of the intestine also known as "leaky gut." Dr. Fasano's research has linked an overproduction of zonulin to the pathogenesis of a series of autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and multiple sclerosis.
Widely sought after by national and international media, Dr. Fasano has been featured in hundreds of interviews including outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal; National Public Radio; CNN; Bloomberg News; USA Today; Los Angeles Times; The Huffington Post, "Good Morning America"; The Globe and Mail; VOGUE; and numerous health-related websites and magazines. Dr. Fasano is a skilled gluten-free chef and a connoisseur of fine wines and Italian luxury automobiles.
Dr. Fasano is division chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MGHfC. He also heads the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center and is associate chief for Basic, Clinical and Translational Research for the Department of Pediatrics at MGHf C. He is a Visiting Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He has authored hundreds of academic articles and book chapters, but Gluten Freedom is his first health book for a general audience.