W. Allan Walker Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Chief of Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Director of Center for Celiac Research and Treatment
Director of Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center
Associate Chief, Department of Pediatrics, Basic, Clinical and Translational Research
MassGeneral Hospital for Children
Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Alessio Fasano, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center (MIBRC) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Dr. Fasano’s current research expertise encompasses basic science focused on bacterial pathogenesis, gut microbiome composition and function in health and disease, the regulation of gut permeability, and intestinal mucosal biology and immunology, as well as translational science focused on the role of impaired intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Fasano’s group was responsible for the discovery of zonulin in 2000, a protein involved in the regulation of tight junctions, which is released in conditions of dysbiosis. Current research directed by Dr. Fasano is focused on the basic science of the gut microbiome and intestinal mucosal biology, as well as translational science focused on interventional clinical trials in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. He is founding co-chair of the MGH Research Institute’s Microbiome Think Tank, which regularly brings together researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs and other interested parties to discuss opportunities in the emerging field of microbiome research and therapeutic applications for microbial dysbiosis.
Dr. Fasano is also Director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. He founded the Center, where he treats both adults and children for gluten-related disorders, in 1996. His visionary research, which established the rate of celiac disease at one in 133 people, led to the awareness of celiac disease as a growing public health problem in the United States. The author of Gluten Freedom, Dr. Fasano is widely sought after as an expert in celiac disease, intestinal permeability and autoimmune disorders and has been featured in media outlets around the world, including National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the BBC and The Daily Mail.