Center Initiatives

The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center has established itself as a leader in the field, both nationally and internationally, by providing the highest quality, compassionate patient care for children and adults with celiac disease.

Our strengths in research and treatment are enhanced by our location within Columbia University Medical Center, which as a leading medical institution in New York City provides fertile ground for innovative research and translational studies across a variety of divisions, departments, centers, and institutes. As a center in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University, we are able to take advantage of many opportunities for interdisciplinary patient care and research. All of the Center’s research is directed toward celiac disease and reflects the nature of celiac disease as a multisystem disorder.

Clinical research at the Center has led to studies on adults and children that describe the clinical face of celiac disease in the United States. The many research and review publications emanating from the Center are available in the Research section of the website.

These activities, combined with successful treatment outcomes for our patients, have enabled the Celiac Disease Center to greatly impact the rate of diagnosis and awareness among physicians in the United States. We think advocacy in the medical community is one of the most effective ways to increase the profile and knowledge base of celiac disease to healthcare professionals. As the rate of diagnosis increases, the visibility of celiac disease will continue to grow, with physicians considering the diagnoses in greater numbers, resulting in better services for those with the disease and a markedly improved quality of life for these patients.

A Patient-Centered Approach

Using a multidisciplinary approach, the Center delivers individualized care to meet the needs of each patient. Our team consists of adult and pediatric gastroenterologists.

Services provided include:

  • Medical consultation
  • Nutritional assessment and counseling
  • Breath testing for bacterial overgrowth and lactose, fructose and sucrose intolerance
  • Endoscopy (including double balloon enteroscopy)
  • Video capsule endoscopy
  • Pathology
  • Genetic testing

In addition, extensive collaborative relationships have been established with other medical and subspecialist departments including endocrinology, bone metabolism, rheumatology, surgery, hematology, oncology, neurology and dental medicine.

This team approach ensures that there is continuity in care, which is especially important for the youngest patients diagnosed with celiac disease. It is well known that children experience difficulty adhering to a gluten-free diet as they transition through the different developmental stages from childhood to young adulthood. Our approach ensures that each child we treat has an established relationship with a registered dietitian to supplement parental guidance at these vulnerable periods and throughout their adult lives.

Outreach and Education

One of the major roles of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center is to raise awareness about celiac disease and to educate others in the medical community so that each year fewer cases go undiagnosed. In an effort to educate the public, our physicians have been featured on regional and national radio programs, television shows, and in prominent newspapers and magazines. We have also developed educational materials about celiac disease for children and adults and conduct annual educational events and family screening programs. Within the medical community, our physicians have lectured on celiac disease at many medical institutions throughout the United States as well as national and international meetings. The Center has assumed a leadership role by organizing conferences for physicians, nutritionists, and other healthcare practitioners.

Patient Advocacy

One of the important roles of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center, as a leading university based Center, is patient advocacy with respect to legislative, health and life insurance and funding for all aspects of celiac disease research, education and patient management.

Cutting-Edge Research

While much is known about the origin and development of celiac disease, there is still much to be discovered. Important issues to be studied include the long-term quality of life of individuals with celiac disease, their psychological welfare, and their ability to adapt to a gluten-free diet. In addition, our laboratory is attempting to explore the mechanisms of the immunological damage in celiac disease. Looking ahead, the Center will continue to pursue pioneering research that explores the relationship of celiac disease to other autoimmune diseases with emphasis on neurological, thyroid, and cardiovascular disorders. We believe in a collaborative approach to research. Most of our studies are conducted in conjunction with experts in other medical disciplines at Columbia University Medical Center, as well as with other national and international investigators.

The Columbia University Medical Center’s Biomedical research is at a critical juncture, with scientists primed to make improvements in health care that will open endless opportunities for how we treat patients and prevent disease. However, only a handful of academic medical centers possess the range of expertise, the tradition of excellence, the foresight, and the scientific innovation to translate this promise into practice. Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) is a leader among these select institutions.

Furthermore, patients who visit CUMC benefit from access to new and innovative treatments that simply are not available outside a major research institution. Nowhere is this scientific leadership more prominent than in our efforts to study and treat celiac disease, which affects a growing number of individuals each year. Peter H.R. Green, M.D., has served as Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center in the Department of Medicine since 2001 and is one of a few recognized experts on celiac disease in the United States. Dr. Green’s excellence in the field is widely recognized, and his work has positioned Columbia at the forefront of national and international scholarship on the diagnosis, treatment and research of celiac disease.

The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center has long been active in physician education on celiac disease in order to increase the rate of diagnosis.

Defining the Future of Celiac Disease

Columbia University Medical Center and its Department of Medicine are strongly committed to the mission of the Celiac Disease Center and its program to deliver the highest-quality care, access to the latest therapies, and innovative research from an experienced, compassionate, and multi-disciplinary team.

Already a leading Center for celiac disease research, treatment, and education in the nation, we are poised to build an even stronger and expanded program that will serve as a model for other institutions. We hope that you will partner with us to continue the excellent care, innovative research, and education that will improve the lives of so many people suffering from celiac disease.

 

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