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Stanford Children’s Health launches new Center for Pediatric IBD and Celiac Disease With $70 million donation

This transformative gift will enable researchers to offer more treatments for young patients suffering from inflammatory bowel and celiac diseases

Stanford Children’s Health has launched its new Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Celiac Disease to increase access to care and advance research to improve outcomes for children, thanks to a $70 million gift by an anonymous donor. Children with IBD and celiac disease require comprehensive and dedicated care to achieve the best outcome and control of their disease. The new center will bring together expert clinicians, researchers, IBD and celiac disease nurses, dietitians, psychologists, and social workers to build a world-class program for state-of-the-art clinical care.

“We aim to build the nation’s destination center for innovation in pediatric IBD and celiac disease care, as well as a major research hub for these conditions,” said Michael J. Rosen, MD, director of the new center. Rosen, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Stanford Children’s Health, is also the Stanford University Endowed Professor for Pediatric IBD & Celiac Disease.

Michael J. Rosen, director of the Center for Pediatric IBD and Celiac Disease

Michael J. Rosen, director of the Center for Pediatric IBD and Celiac Disease. Photo: Stanford Children’s Health

The gastrointestinal disorders addressed by the center will include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, indeterminate colitis, and very-early-onset IBD. “The joint services we offer will give children from birth to age 22 the best chance to live full and productive lives,” Rosen said.

Clinicians and researchers will partner with Stanford Medicine scientists in microbiome science, human immunology, genetics, epithelial biology, biomedical engineering, and data science to further the understanding of the root causes of IBD and celiac disease in children; advance precision medicine; and help develop the treatments of tomorrow. Experts in the center will also accelerate the understanding of these chronic conditions, collect and share data, and synchronize approaches to improve diagnosis and gastroenterology treatment.

“We extend our deepest appreciation to the donor for this transformative gift,” said Mary Leonard, MD, Adalyn Jay Physician in Chief at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Arline and Pete Harman professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. “Thanks to their commitment, we can bring together the best minds across Stanford Medicine to change the trajectory for children with IBD and celiac disease.”

World-class collaboration

The Center for Pediatric IBD and Celiac Disease will work closely with top pediatric subspecialists in fields such as advanced endoscopy, surgery, pain management, mental health, nutrition, and integrative medicine at Stanford to address the comprehensive care needs of children with IBD and celiac disease across the spectrum of severity.

“Our close collaboration with expert clinical immunologists and geneticists enables us to provide advanced diagnostic and treatment options to children with IBD and celiac disease disorders that do not respond to standard treatment,” said Rosen. “This collaborative work can make a real difference in the coming years by improving our ability to personalize treatment, curate biospecimens and patient-reported outcomes data for the world’s investigators and develop clear guidance on which drugs are safest and most effective for each child.”

Funding from this new $70 million gift, along with National Institutes of Health grants and foundation-funded research programs, allows Stanford Children’s Health to expand engagement with key clinical and scientific program partners, provide access to more patients, and advance the use of data and innovative technologies to improve care for children coping with IBD and celiac disease.

This story originally appeared in Stanford Report.