External Advisory Board

Our External Advisory Board (EAB) plays a vital role in guiding and shaping the direction of the Center for Pediatric IBD & Celiac Disease Research. Composed of esteemed experts in the field, the EAB serves as a key resource and provides invaluable insights and guidance to our center's leadership.

The dedication and expertise of our Advisory Board members are instrumental in shaping the future of pediatric IBD and celiac disease research conducted at Stanford University. Their contributions enable us to make informed decisions, foster collaboration, and drive groundbreaking discoveries. We are immensely grateful for their commitment and support, as their collective wisdom strengthens our center's mission to improve the lives of all children affected by IBD and celiac disease.

Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD

Associate Professor

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Dr. Theresa Alenghat is an Associate Professor in the Immunobiology Division of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center at the University of Cincinnati. She received her veterinary degree and residency training at the University of Pennsylvania and did her PhD and post-doctoral work with Drs. Mitch Lazar and David Artis, respectively. She joined Cincinnati Children’s in 2014 and established a research program to investigate molecular mechanisms that instruct the host-microbiota relationship, and how this level of regulation affects intestinal health, infection, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dr. Alenghat has pioneered studies revealing that epigenetics and histone deacetylases permit intestinal epithelial cells to sense commensal bacteria and convey this information to the mammalian host. Her lab's work includes investigation into pathways that enable diet and microbiota-derived metabolites to direct epithelial and immune cell homeostasis in mucosal tissues. Her work in this area has been published in multiple high profile journals including Nature, Cell Host and Microbe, and Gastroenterology. Dr. Alenghat is the recipient of awards from the NIH, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

Alessio Fasano, MD

W. Allan Walker Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

Division Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

Director, Center for Celiac Research and Treatment

Director, Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center

Associate Chief for Basic, Clinical and Translational Research

Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Alessio Fasano is the W. Allan Walker Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHfC). 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. Dr. Fasano founded the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment in 1996, where he treats adults and children for gluten-related disorders. Dr. Fasano is also Director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center (MIBRC) at MGHfC. In 2000, he and his team discovered the protein zonulin, opening up the door to a new way of looking at the function of intestinal permeability, not only as it affects the gut, but also what role it plays in both inflammation and autoimmunity throughout the body. Current research directed by Dr. Fasano encompasses both basic science focused on bacterial pathogenesis, the gut microbiome and intestinal mucosal biology, as well as translational science focused on interventional clinical trials in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Led by Dr. Fasano, MIBRC researchers are looking at how qualitative or quantitative defects in the regulation of the immune system and the role of dysbiosis can lead to the onset and progression of celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders. Dr. Fasano’s objective is to understand the molecular mechanisms of the host’s functional and immune response to specific organisms and develop preventive strategies for autoimmune disorders. Dr. Fasano is 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 Daily Mail, Elle, TIME and other online and media outlets.

Maria Oliva-Hemker, MD

Vice Dean for Faculty

Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Division Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Professor of Pediatrics

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Maria M. Oliva-Hemker is the Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her areas of clinical expertise include gastrointestinal diseases, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and pediatric gastroenterology. She serves as the chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. In 1998, she launched the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at Johns Hopkins, which specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of hundreds of children and teens with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis from all over the world. Dr. Oliva-Hemker is an active clinical researcher who has co-authored more than 100 articles and book chapters and has given more than 100 invited talks nationally and internationally. She has served on multiple editorial boards and organizational leadership positions including the Subboard of Pediatric Gastroenterology of the American Board of Pediatrics and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Board of Trustees, and the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. She is Co-Chair of the IBD Education Campaign for the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Foundation. Her clinical practice focuses on inflammatory intestinal disorders such as IBD, autoimmune enteropathy, celiac disease and eosinophilic gastroenteritis. However, she also sees children with a wide variety of gastrointestinal symptoms and concerns. Dr. Oliva-Hemker actively teaches medical students, residents, and fellows. In addition to her outpatient clinics, she routinely performs a variety of endoscopic procedures and attends on the inpatient and consultation pediatric gastroenterology services. 

Michael Kappelman, MD, MPH

Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology

Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health

University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Dr. Kappelman is a pediatric gastroenterologist whose research interests focus on using real-world data to 1) define the burden of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (prevalence, costs, healthcare utilization, quality of life, disease complications), 2) elucidate the risk factors for developing IBD, 3) study the safety, effectiveness, and comparative effectiveness of different treatment options, and 4) measure and improve the quality of care delivered to this patient population. Dr. Kappelman collaborates with colleagues across UNC’s campus, nationally, and internationally. Many of these collaborations have led to multi-center observational clinical and translational studies, for which he has served as a co-investigator or UNC site PI. In addition to observational studies, Dr. Kappelman has also led interventional clinical trials, including serving as PI for a PCORI-funded large pragmatic clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of anti-TNF monotherapy versus combination therapy with oral methotrexate. His future research plans include continuing independent and collaborative patient-oriented and translational research in the area of IBD, including 1) integrating real-world data across various sources (administrative, electronic health record, clinical registry, and patient-reported), 2) conducting observational and interventional studies of the clinical and comparative effectiveness and safety of existing and emerging therapeutic strategies, and 3) collaborating with basic researchers to design studies that capitalize on this infrastructure to support translational research.

Aleixo Muise, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Canada Research Chair in Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Professor, Department of Paediatrics and Biochemistry

Co-Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Centre

University of Toronto

The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. Aleixo Muise is a leader in the development of precision medicine to treat children diagnosed under six years of age with very early onset inflammatory bowel disease (VEOIBD) and intestinal diseases. Dr. Muise established the world’s first multidisciplinary clinic focused exclusively on VEOIBD at SickKids. He developed the interNational Early Onset Pediatric IBD Cohort Study (NEOPICS) , as well as co-founded and co-directs the international VEOIBD Consortium and the PEDIatric COngenital Diarrhea and Enteropathy Consortia study (PEDICODE). Dr. Muise also hosts an international training program for postdoctoral fellows (MD and PhD). These fellows visit his clinic and lab to study novel and known genes in IBD patients. Dr. Muise’s research lab conducts translational research to identify and understand the causes of very early onset intestinal disease in children. His research has made it possible for many young children across Canada and internationally to receive appropriate, personalized treatment, including nutritional therapy and stem cell transplant. These discoveries have had a major impact on the clinical care of many patients and will fundamentally change the way that children are treated with both rare and common forms of intestinal disease. The Muise Lab routinely performs whole exome sequencing (WES) or whole genome sequencing (WGS) to screen young children with intestinal disease for known and novel genetic variants. Results are then analyzed using a searchable database to enable rapid understanding of causal, risk, modifying, and treatment-specific genes associated with these diseases. High-throughput screening (HTS) is also used to search for existing and new therapies that may target a specific gene or pathway. Dr. Muise partners with numerous clinicians and researchers worldwide to identify additional rare disease patients, accelerate research and disease modelling, and promote advanced academic training. This has led to large scale funding and industry partnerships that make his lab an international leader in the study of paediatric gastrointestinal diseases.