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Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Bana Jabri, MD, PhD
Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Pediatrics
Senior Scientific Advisor

Bana Jabri, MD, PhD, is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and is a member of the Committee on Immunology. She is also Co-Director of the University of Chicago Digestive Disease Research Core Center. Dr. Jabri is one of the leading researchers of celiac disease in the world and has directed the research team at University of Chicago Celiac Center since 1999. With her leadership, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Research continues to make great strides in determining what triggers the abnormal reaction to gluten in celiac disease.

Previously, Dr. Jabri worked in research at Princeton University, after which she joined the University of Chicago. During this period, she served as Ad-Hoc reviewer for the Celiac Program Project at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She has co-authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed publications on celiac disease and other digestive disorders. One of Dr. Jabri’s current research focuses is on discovering markers that can identify gluten sensitivity before antibodies to gluten are present. She has received grant support for this work from the NIH.

Dr. Jabri completed her PhD in immunology at the University Paris, VII. She received her MD from the Institut Pasteur, Paris and completed her residency in pediatric gastroenterology at the Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris.

Ludvig Sollid, MD, PhD
Professor and Director, Centre for Immune Regulation

Ludvig M. Sollid, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Centre for Immune Regulation, Oslo, Norway, which is a Research Council of Norway and FOCIS (Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies) center of excellence. He is also a Professor at the University of Oslo and a Senior Consultant at the Oslo University Hospital – Rikshospitalet. He is an internationally recognized authority on celiac disease. His research group has made important contributions to the understanding of the molecular basis of celiac disease, in particular the association between the HLA-DQ2 genes and celiac disease in 1989, the existence of gluten reactive (HLA-DQ2 restricted) T cells in the celiac intestinal lesion in 1993, and role of the primary auto-antigen, tissue transglutaminase, in celiac disease in 1998.

Professor Sollid is the recipient of several research awards including the Research Council of Norway’s Møbius Prize for Outstanding Research (Oslo, 2006), the Warren Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research (San Diego, 2007), the Rank Prize in Nutrition (London, 2010) and the UEG Research Prize (Amsterdam, 2012). Currently, his laboratory investigates the mechanisms for association of MHC molecules with disease and the involvement of T and B cells in the pathogenesis of celiac disease.

Professor Sollid received his MD and PhD from the University of Oslo.

Ramnik J. Xavier, MD, PhD
Professor and Chief, GI Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Xavier is a clinical gastroenterologist and hepatologist with research training in molecular biology and serves as the Chief of the Gastrointestinal Unit at MGH. Dr. Xavier is the Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as a Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Dr. Xavier directs the Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. His clinical interests focus on caring for patients with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease.

The overall goal in Dr. Xavier’s laboratory is to discover and understand the function of important mediators and effectors involved in innate (autophagy, pathogen-containing vacuole) and adaptive (T cell activation) immunity. Especially of interest are the cellular components and regulatory networks that interact dynamically within temporal, spatial and patho-physiological contexts of innate immunity. His laboratory is pursuing integrative systems approaches that closely couple genome-wide experimentation with high-throughput assays and computational methods. Using these approaches, they are interested in addressing: (1) the mechanisms by which autophagy regulates innate and adaptive immunity, (2) translating genetic studies by placing genes in pathways, (3) discovering the microbial initiators and triggers of autoimmunity.

Dr. Xavier completed his clinical training in internal medicine and subsequent training in gastroenterology and hepatology at MGH. He is board certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology.

Kai W. Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD
Chair, Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology, and Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Wucherpfenning is Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. His work focuses on the discovery of genes that control the activity of cytotoxic T cells in the tumor microenvironment with in vivo models and using these insights for the development of cancer immunotherapies.

Dr. Wucherpfennig received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Goettingen and completed postdoctoral work in Immunology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard College.

Charles E. Elson, MD
Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Elson is the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He has a secondary appointment in the Department of Microbiology and holds the Basil I. Hirschowitz Chair in gastroenterology. The central focus of research in Dr. Elson’s laboratory is the regulation of mucosal immune responses and more specifically how such regulation relates to maintenance of normal homeostasis, as well as how it contributes to states of chronic intestinal inflammation. Previously, he served as the Director, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine at UAB. Prior to joining UAB, he was a faculty member in the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia.

Dr. Elson received his BA in pre-medical sciences/general sciences from Notre Dame and his MD from Washington University, St. Louis. He completed residency in internal medicine at Cornell and a gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Chicago. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health,

Bart Roep, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Autoimmune Diseases at the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands

Bart O. Roep, MD PhD is a Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Autoimmune Diseases at the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands. Professor Roep’s research is focused on the role of autoreactive T cells in diabetes assessing human cellular immune responses, autoantigen identification, and islet allograft rejection and the design and immunological monitoring of immuno- intervention strategies in clinical type 1 diabetes. Professor Roep holds positions on a number of scientific advisory boards and research panels including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF), the Dutch National Research Council, the European Union, the European Foundation for Diabetes Research (EFSD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States.

In 2002, Professor Roep received the prestigious Minkowski Prize for outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field of diabetes mellitus. In 2007, he was granted a Vici award. He has published more than 250 articles. He is founder and director of the Diabetes Trial Netherlands Platform.

After studying medical sciences at the University of Amsterdam, he obtained his PhD in medicine (cum laude) in Leiden.