Sónia Gonçalves Pereira, PhD MD, was awarded with the Beyond Celiac Foundation Established Investigator Award 2022 to develop the project CeliAct(TIV) – Translocation, Inflammation and Virulence: dissecting mechanisms of gluten-microbiota interactions in Celiac Disease, with a funding of €300,000 for the next 3-years.
With the collaboration of Katri Lindfors, at Celiac Disease Research Center, Tampere University (Finland), and Daniela Cipreste Vaz, as project’s co-principal investigator, CeliAct(TIV) team aims to advance the knowledge on human microbiota contribution to Celiac Disease onset and development by focusing on the mechanisms of gluten-microbiota-immunity interactions. Apart from scoping for Celiac Disease specific microbiota signatures, the team also wants to learn more about the impact that bacteria, and associated virulence, may have on gluten digestion, gut translocation and cell inflammation.
Ana Roque, PhD student at ciTechCare, is part of CeliAct(TIV) research team, focusing her work on Celiac Disease blood microbiota and virulence signatures and its participation in gut permeability using organoid models, with the support of Alessio Fasano lab, at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital.
According to the press release from the Polytechcnic of Leiria, “celiac disease is the most prevalent autoimmune disease worldwide and the only one in which the pathological trilogy of the causal agent (gluten, present in wheat, rye, barley and some variants of oats) is known”, autoantibodies and genes.
“Although 40% of the world population has these genes, only 3% of its carriers develop the disease, being able to live for years eating gluten without symptoms and start them suddenly, on a path without return,” claimed the Polytechnic, highlighting that “these evidences suggest that other factors can participate in the triggering and perpetuation of the disease, in which the human microbiota”, a set of microorganisms present in the organism, “presents itself as a strong candidate, which configures the basis of the awarded project”.
Beyond Celiac Foundation is a United States non-profit organization, founded in 2003, that funds Celiac Disease research worldwide
Project site: https://celiactiv.site/
Photography: Ricardo Graça | Jornal de Leiria