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About Us was created by the expert clinicians of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, with assistance from expert colleagues and our students.

We thank the Sidney E. Frank Foundation for its generous support in the development of this website.

Our Mission Statement at the Celiac Center
: To enhance the health and well-being of children and adults with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders through excellence in medical care, education, and research.

This website project gets to the very heart of our mission by providing patients with an easily accessible tool that will help them gain a better understanding of their disease and the appropriate diet to follow to remain healthy and avoid unnecessary complications.

To learn more about our center please visit us at:

To contact us about the center:

The Celiac Center at BIDMC
East Campus, Dana 601
330 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-667-1272

To make suggestions for the website:
Please feel free to email us with your suggestions for the website. While we regret we are unable to answer individual emails, we appreciate your effort and will gladly accept any feedback from you to help us improve the site.

We regret that we are unable to answer personal clinical questions via email.

To make appointments:


If you would like to make an appointment with one of the Celiac Center clinicians here in Boston, please call our Scheduling Desk at the above number. We look forward to meeting you!
For a list of celiac-friendly centers around the U.S., please visit our Resources page.

To view our Team of Clinicians, please visit: and click on Our Celiac Center Team.

Website Creators:

The clinicians of Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Project Designer/Coordinator and Lead Nutrition Author:
Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN

Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN
Nutrition Coordinator, Celiac Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Lead Medical & Research Authors and Project Managers:
Ciaran P. Kelly, MD

Ciaran P. Kelly, MD
Medical Director, Celiac Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Firm Chief, Herman Blumgart, Internal Medicine Firm
Director, Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program

Dr. Daniel A. Leffler MD, MS

Dr. Daniel A. Leffler MD, MS
Director of Research, Celiac Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Rupa Mukherjee, MD

Rupa Mukherjee, MD
Clinical Research Fellow, Celiac Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Our Expert Celiac Dietitian Editors:

Our Editorial Board - We thank the following doctors for their editing and writing contributions. 

Christine Doherty, ND, Balance Point Natural Medicine, New Hampshire
Kumar Pallav, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mississippi
Brintha Vasagar, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Amy Burkhart, MD, RD, Napa, California
Rohini Vanga, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Javier Villafuerte, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Natalia Castillo, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

With Appreciation to the following individuals for their comprehensive work on the site:

Joe Lyons, Ryan Plaisted, Jess Nunez, Elaina Bates, webmasters, Spin350 Creative, Inc.
Jonathan Spierer, organizational assistance on the website project, Winter 2010
Annie Peer, our medical student, 2010-2011
Aparna Kohli, our nutrition student, Summer 2011
Diane McKiernan, our work study student from Simmons College, Fall 2011- Summer 2012
Meg Schrier, BIDMC Nutrition Department Dietetic Intern, Fall 2011
Nicolette Taggart, our research/nutrition student, Summer 2012
Mary Tamposi, contributing writer, Spring 2013 - present

Our Disclosures:
In the interests of transparency on our educational site, the clinicians of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and our editors would like to make the following disclosures:

Dr. Ciaran P. Kelly:
Company Consultant Board Member Research Support
Actelion Inc. X X
Merck X X X
Optimer X X X
Sanofi-Pasteur X X
Viro Pharma Inc. X X
CSL Behring X X
Dr. Daniel Leffler:
Company Consultant Research Support
Alvine X X
Alba X
Shire X X
Prometheus X
Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN:
Company Consultant Research Support
Kettle Cuisine X
Alvine X
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics X
ImmusanT X


Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Clinicians:

Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN:

Melinda Dennis, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., is the Nutrition Coordinator, research investigator and a co-founder of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 1990, Ms. Dennis is a registered dietitian who specializes in the treatment of patients with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, food allergies and intolerances. She has authored several journal articles on the nutritional management of celiac disease and recently co-wrote the book Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free ( which won the 2011 Indie Book Award for the Nutrition category.

Ms. Dennis served on the Academy of Nutrition and Dieteticians (formerly the American Dietetic Association) Evidence Analysis Library task force for celiac disease, which developed the national guidelines and the standardized patient education handouts for the nutritional management of celiac disease for dietitians. Ms. Dennis is also the Founder, former Chairperson, and current Nutrition Advisor to the Healthy Villi Greater Boston Celiac/DH Support Group.

Ciaran Kelly, MD:

Dr Ciaran Kelly is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Herrman L. Blumgart Internal Medicine Firm and Director of Gastroenterology Training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr Kelly has been involved in patient care and research in celiac disease for more than 20 years. In 2004 he was a founder of the Celiac Center at BIDMC and continues to serve as its Medical Director. Dr Kelly is an internationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and management of celiac disease and, in his clinical practice, specializes in difficult-to-manage cases. He also leads research programs on the causes of celiac disease, its diagnosis and new approaches to treatment. Dr Kelly is the author of numerous clinical and basic research book chapters, invited reviews, and more than 100 peer-reviewed publications appearing in Gastroenterology, Vaccine, Infection & Immunity, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Dan Leffler, MD, MS:

Dr. Leffler was a co-founder of The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2005 and is currently the Director of Research. In these past years, he has spearheaded a number of studies evaluating clinical outcomes in celiac disease and investigating new potential therapies for celiac disease as well as initiatives to improve patient care. This work has helped us to become one of the largest celiac disease centers in North America. Our multidisciplinary team currently cares for over 2000 patients with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders and is growing by approximately 15% annually. Since coming on faculty in the Division of Gastroenterology as the Director of Clinical Research in Celiac Disease, he has devoted 60% of his effort to celiac disease research, 20% to patient care, and 10% each to quality improvement and medical education.

His current focus is clinical and translational research in celiac disease. Major efforts to date have involved the study of factors which influence dietary adherence, clinical outcomes in celiac disease and the development of novel non-invasive tests of celiac disease activity including the creation of disease specific survey tools assessing diet adherence, symptoms and quality of life. He is a co-investigator on grants relating to these projects with Dr. Ciaran Kelly as PI, and currently is the PI on a K23 grant assessing non-invasive markers of celiac disease activity. He is also a close collaborator with both Dr. Detlef Schuppan in his work in elucidating basic immunologic mechanisms of celiac disease and the celiac group at Children?s Hospital. He co-wrote the book Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free.

Beyond clinical and research activities, he is an active participant in medical education. He has been a tutor for the second year Harvard Medical School Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology Course for the past three years and was the teaching fellow in 2006 working closely with Dr. Helen Shields on all aspects of course development and implementation. In addition, he worked with Dr. Shields and Dr. Antoinette Peters in the integration of cross cultural care into the problem based learning sessions as well as developing multiple novel educational tools and initiating a popular boards-style quiz session. This work earned him an Excellence in Tutoring Award from the Harvard Medical School Academy Center for Teaching and Learning and a nomination for the Excellence in Mentoring Award from The Harvard Medical School Office of Diversity and Community Partnership. Further, he actively mentors a number of medical residents in clinical research activities.

Additionally, he is involved with a range of quality improvement initiatives at BIDMC working with Dr. Mark Aronson and the Division of General Medicine to evaluate risk factors for procedural complications and improve patient adherence to follow up testing recommendations. He is also a member of the Medical Practice Review Committee and Interventional Procedures Committee, both of which meet monthly to evaluate medical complications and discuss strategies to improve care and reduce risk.


Rupa Mukherjee is currently a clinical-research fellow sponsored by a NIH-T32 grant at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston (NIH Grant: 5T32DK007760-13). She completed her GI fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. Prior to that, she attended Yale-New Haven Hospital for her residency and chief residency. She completed her medical school training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Rupa Mukherjee is a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Her research in celiac disease is focused on issues related to patient adherence to a gluten-free diet, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and studies on neurocognition after gluten exposure in celiac disease.

Our Expert Celiac Nutrition Editors:

Shelly Asplin, MA, RD, LMNT:

Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Program Coordinator
Celiac Sprue Association
P.O. Box 31700
Omaha, NE 68131-0700
Toll Free 1-877-CSA-4-CSA (1-877-272-4272)
Direct Line: 402-871-8926

Shelly Asplin, Nutrition Program Coordinator for the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA), has been a registered dietitian for more than eighteen years. She developed a passion for those following gluten-free diets after working with hundreds of gluten-free clients at a mid-west retailer, Hy-Vee Inc. Asplin perseveres to raise awareness of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities through public speaking engagements throughout the country for health professionals, school systems, and food service professionals.

Asplin says she was drawn to work for the CSA because of her desire to help those living gluten-free on a local and national level. She endeavors to be a resource for dietitians and health professionals locally and nationally, developing tools that are needed and answering questions on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. "The diagnosis of celiac disease and the prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivities are on the rise. Dietitians are the nutrition experts to equip patients on a self-management approach to living gluten-free."

Asplin earned a degree in Human Nutrition and Food Service Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She earned a masters degree in Health Education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and has served on elected and volunteer positions for both the Nebraska Dietetic Association and the Omaha District Dietetic Association. She is also a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetics Association.

At the forefront of Asplin's mind is the thought, 'Bottom-line, I want people living gluten-free to love living gluten-free! I hope that my work will touch every celiac or gluten sensitive person in a positive way.'

Shelley Case, B.Sc., RD:

Case Nutrition Consulting Inc.,
Author: Gluten Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide
Advisory Board: Living Without Magazine!/shelleycase
Phone: (306) 536-7716 Fax: (306) 751-1000

A registered dietitian, Shelley Case is a leading international expert on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is a member of the Medical Advisory Boards of the Celiac Disease Foundation, Gluten Intolerance Group and Canadian Celiac Association, as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of the Grain Foods Foundation.

Her national best seller Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, now in its 4th edition and 9th printing, is highly recommended by health professionals, celiac organizations, consumers, the food industry and media.

Shelley is the author of many articles on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet in leading publications and writes Ask the Celiac Expert column for Allergic Living magazine. She is a popular speaker at health professional, consumer and food industry conferences and is a frequent guest on radio and television including the NBC Today Show.

In recognition of Shelley's major contributions to the field of celiac disease and dedication to educating health professionals and individuals with celiac disease in the US and Canada, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal.

Pam Cureton, RD, LDN:

Center for Celiac Research
UMB Celiac/Gluten Related Disorder Program University of Maryland
737 W. Lombard Street Room 165
Baltimore, MD 21201

Center for Celiac Research at Mass General Hospital for Children
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Pam Cureton is a clinical and research dietitian specializing in the treatment of celiac disease. In 1993, she joined the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, working with the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Her current position is full time with Dr. Alessio Fasano at the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. This position includes coordinating the clinical management of patients with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, educational programs and lectures for the celiac community, physician, dietitians and other health care providers and involvement in research projects at the Center. She is the author of many articles on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet and has contributed to many other publications including textbooks, magazines, and other patient education resources. She currently serves as Chairperson for the Dietitians in Gluten Intolerance Disease, a subunit of the Medical Nutrition Practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Nancy Patin Falini, MA, RD/RDN, LDN:

Nutritional Graces, LLC
Consultant/Author/National Speaker
Dietitian in Private Practice Specializing in Gluten Related Disorders, Other Digestive Conditions and Food Dilemmas
437 Sharpless St.
West Chester, PA 19382

Nancy Patin Falini, MA, RD/RDN, LDN is a well known registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Education. For more than 24 years she has specialized in celiac disease and other gluten related disorders and counseled children, adults and families. She also works with those having other digestive conditions and food allergies and sensitivities. Prior to developing her own business she functioned as a clinical dietitian and trained dietetic interns. She is a consultant to The Celiac Center at Paoli Hospital, a member of the Scientific/Medical Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Dietetic Advisory Board of Gluten-Free Living Magazine. Recently, her public speaking includes co-lecturing at the annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Convention 2013 in Puerto Rico. Among her publications are award-winning Gluten Free Friends an Activity Book for Kids, chapters, recipes and charts in books, a co-authored landmark study on gluten in medications and articles in Living Without Magazine, Gluten-Free Living Magazine and the Journal of Nutrition Education. She has appeared on Familyland Television discussing the low gluten altar breads. Membership is held in many organizations. This involves various Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Practice Groups, such as the Pediatric Nutrition; Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness; Jewish Member Interest; Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, and Dietitians in Gluten Intolerance Disease. She belongs to the Philadelphia, and PA Dietetic Associations and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Nancy has served as a manuscript reviewer for the Celiac Disease Chapters of the Pediatric and Adult Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Care Manuals and has reviewed numerous books and other literature, particularly published from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Anne Lee, MSEd, RD, LD:

Director of Nutritional Services
Dr. Schar USA
1050 Wall Street West
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

Anne Lee is the Director of Nutritional Services for Dr. Schar USA. Previously she was the nutritionist at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University where she was involved in patient care, and research. Her research has resulted in published articles on the effect of a gluten-free diet on the quality of life, the nutritional adequacy of the gluten-free diet, and the economic impact of a gluten-free diet. Most recently, she collaborated on a study on the cross-contamination of inherently gluten-free grains. She has authored chapters on celiac disease in nutrition textbooks as well as co-authored a chapter in a gastroenterology text. Anne has developed numerous educational materials on the gluten free diet for patients and both clinical and food service professionals. Anne has been an ADA member for many years and has reviewed the chapters on celiac disease for the ADA on-line nutrition care manual. She is also a member of the ADA Gluten Intolerance Work Group who developed the Gluten Intolerance tool kit.

Nixie Raymond, MS, RD, LDN, CSP:

Nixie Raymond, MS, RD, LDN, CSP, is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Her experience and interest in the nutritional aspects of celiac disease extends to adults as well as children. Nixie is a founding member of the Healthy Villi and a member of its nutritional advisory board. She is a contributing author to Real Life with Celiac Disease.

Mary K Sharrett, MS, RD, LD, CNSD:

Nutrition Support Dietitian
Dietitian Advisor to the Gluten Free Gang
Nationwide Childrens Hospital
Columbus, Ohio
Past Chair: Medical Nutrition Practice Group (MNPG)
Past Dietitian in Gluten Intolerance Diseases (DIGID) Chair, a subunit of MNPG

Mary K Sharrett has been working with celiac disease and the gluten-free diet for about 25 years. She started a celiac support group, The Gluten Free Gang 25 years ago. She has been part of the Organizing committee and speaker for 25 annual Celiac Conferences at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Mary Kay has authored several articles on celiac disease and speaks frequently to celiac support groups and to professional groups on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. Mary Kay is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic's (formerly ADA) EAL project on celiac disease and has been a reviewer for the On Line NCM.

Suzanne Simpson, RD:

Clinical Dietitian, Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
New York, New York

Suzanne Simpson is the Clinical Dietitian at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. She works with adults and children that have celiac disease as well as other conditions including Type 1 Diabetes, gastroparesis, lactose intolerance, obesity and fructose intolerance. Suzanne is involved in research at the Celiac Disease Center with Dr. Peter Green. Suzanne's most recent publication was a survey of the general public, chefs and patients on the awareness of gluten-related disorders published in 2011 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. Suzanne also recently authored on online module on celiac disease for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association.

Suzanne has an honors degree in Nutrition from the University of Guelph in Canada as well as an honors degree in Sociology from Queens University. She worked as a pediatric dietitian at Sickkids Hospital for 9 years prior to coming to New York to work at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia almost four years ago.

Tricia Thompson, MS, RD:

The Gluten-Free Dietitian
Nutrition Consultant Celiac Disease
348 Summer Street
Manchester, MA 01944

Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, is a nutrition consultant, researcher, and writer. She has authored numerous publications for both scientific and popular readerships, including articles published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, and New England Journal of Medicine. Her research interests include the nutritional quality of the gluten-free diet, safety of oats, and gluten contamination of naturally gluten-free grains. She is also the author of a variety of books and book chapters on the gluten-free diet, including The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin), the American Dietetic Association's booklet Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, the American Dietetic Association's Easy Gluten-Free: Expert Nutrition Advice with More Than 100 Recipes, and the American Dietetic Association's Pocket Guide to Gluten-Free Strategies for Clients with Multiple Diet Restrictions.

Tricia has been a contributing author to the American Dietetic Association's Nutrition Care Manual and a workgroup member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic's (formerly ADA) Evidence Analysis Library (EAL) project on celiac disease. She also was a member of the External Peer Review of the FDA/CFSAN the Draft Health Hazard Assessment for Gluten Exposure in Individuals with Celiac Disease. She is the creator of the Gluten-Free Dietitian Web site ( and founder of Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC ( This company is dedicated to making state-of-the-art gluten-free food testing data available directly to the public.

Tricia has a MS degree in nutrition from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and a BA degree in English Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont. She completed her dietetic internship at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at the New England Medical Center in Boston.

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