Our Science Plan
In 2019, Beyond Celiac launched our strategic science plan to create pathways to treatments and cure for celiac disease.
Pathway to Treatments and a Cure
Our mission has evolved to one of advancing the science of celiac disease because we firmly believe that with a strategic approach to funding focused research, an effective treatment or cure could be possible within the next 15 years. To accomplish that goal, we are laser-focused and addressing the many barriers currently existing.
Barriers to a Cure for Celiac Disease
- Celiac disease is poorly understood by the medical community
- Limited support for early career scholars/researchers
- Serious nature of the disease is underappreciated
- Too many people remain undiagnosed
- Lack of funding and strategic focus for research
- Assumtion that the gluten-free diet is enough
The large, diverse celiac disease community continues to suffer from high daily burdens in coping with the disease, and we need treatments and a cure. Beyond Celiac has crafted its science plan to change the future for the 1% of the population living with this serious genetic autoimmune disorder.
- Patient Registry: We have built – and continue to expand – a patient database and registry called Go Beyond Celiac . With thousands of participants already enrolled, this rapidly expanding group has indicated strong willingness to participate in research and clinical trials and to provide data that scientists need to make progress on a cure.
- Chief Scientific Officer: We have created a science department led by a Chief Scientific Officer to determine the highest and best use of our resources in driving new treatments for people with celiac disease. We are focused on clinical advancements that will directly benefit our community.
- Scientific Advisory Council: We have assembled a multi-disciplinary group of leaders in the field of celiac disease research to advise us on how to allocate the funds we raise to achieve maximum impact. Participants include scientists and physicians with backgrounds in the research and treatment of celiac disease in both adults and children, immunology, mucosal biology, pharmaceutical celiac disease research, and other associated specialties. Participants include experts affiliated with Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Northwestern, Loyola, the University of Colorado, Yale and Harvard. This important team will leverage current knowledge in celiac disease research, bridge critical gaps in the treatment development process, capitalize on synergies from discoveries made in other genetic and immune diseases and encourage the next generation of talented young investigators who will lead celiac disease research in the future.
- Funding for Research: Because celiac disease research is underfunded, we have crafted a plan and begun to offer grants, outlined below.
There are multiple pathways on the horizon for drug research, discovery and development. We know that the first need in achieving a cure for celiac disease is adequate funding. The second, related need is equally important: we need to maintain our focus on research that is practical and patient centric. We have designed our scientific plan accordingly.
As a lean organization, we carefully target our efforts to advocate for and accelerate the best ideas in celiac disease research. We steward carefully the money you entrust to us, supporting the approaches that are most promising for patients, as we work towards a cure.
Our research funding will be directed in two primary ways:
1. Innovative Research Grant: High-Potential Discovery Areas
We will provide grants to help scientists collect the preliminary data needed to begin answering major questions around celiac disease that could lead to breakthroughs for larger scale research or clinical trials.
This is a two-year grant funded at $60,000 per year (plus 8% indirect costs).
For 2019: Beyond Celiac Pilot and Feasibility Award
2. Established Investigator Grant: Best and Brightest
The historic lack of funding in celiac disease has resulted in a limited number of researchers currently studying the disease. This grant encourages the most successful scientists to continue to study celiac disease or, if working in a related field, turn their focus to celiac disease, helping to keep top scientists committed to long-term celiac disease research. Over time, these grants will lead to more researchers dedicating their careers to studying celiac disease and to finding better treatments and a cure.
This is a three-year grant funded at $100,000 per year (plus 8% indirect costs).
For 2019: Beyond Celiac Established Investigator Award
The Innovative Research Grant and the Established Investigator Grant are the cornerstones of the current Beyond Celiac Research Program, a topic-focused program designed to fund studies on issues deemed a high priority by the Beyond Celiac Scientific Advisory Council.
The 2019 priority topic is additional research into the T cells that serve as the “gatekeepers” for celiac disease. This promising area of study should inform immune tolerance strategies for treating celiac disease.
Believe. Fund. Monitor. Adjust.
As we support the ideas that offer the greatest promise, we will actively monitor and adjust our strategy as we go.
This is our passion and our life’s work. By supporting this effort, you can improve the lives of millions of Americans.