Alessio Fasano

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Alessio Fasano is an Italian medical doctor, pediatric gastroenterologist and researcher. He holds the W. Allan Walker Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Furthermore, he is Vice Chair of Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research and Division Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston.

He has made major contributions to the understanding of autoimmune diseases, in particular celiac disease.


After completion of his studies and training as pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Naples, Fasano joined the University of Maryland in 1993. In 1996, he founded the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; the center became part of the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2013.

In research published in 2000,[1] the research team of Alessio Fasano discovered zonulin,[2][3] which regulates intestinal permeability. In 2003, he published the results of the epidemiological study that demonstrated the prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S. to be far higher than previously thought, at a rate of 1 in 133 persons.[citation needed]

His work covers, among other topics, the pathophysiology of coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity as well as of diabetes mellitus type 1.

He has authored more than 240 peer-reviewed journal publications[4] and has also been featured in numerous journals and magazines for the general public.


Fasano has received several awards for his work:[4]

  • 2018 Expertscape recognized Dr. Fasano as #8 in the world for expertise in Celiac Disease.[5]
  • 2013 Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Award
  • 2012 Shwachman Award
  • 2011 Student Council Faculty Preclinical Award
  • 2011 Influential Marylander in Health Care Award
  • 2010 Arnold Silverman, M.D. Lectureship in Pediatric GI, Hepatology, and Nutrition
  • 2009 Researcher of the Year Award from the University of Maryland
  • 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the University of Maryland
  • 2006 Best Academic/Industry Collaboration Award from the Greater Baltimore Committee
  • 2005 finalist for the NIH Director's Pioneer Award
  • 2005 Innovator of the Year Award from the State of Maryland


  • Fasano A, Flaherty S (2014). Gluten Freedom. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-42310-3.
  • Fasano A, Troncone R, Branski D, eds. (2008). Frontiers in Celiac Disease. S. Karger Publishers. ISBN 978-3-805-58526-2.
  • Fasano A (2013). A Clinical Guide to Gluten-Related Disorders Paperback. LWW. ISBN 978-1-451-18263-7.
  • Fasano A, Holmes G, Catassi C (2009). Fast Facts. Celiac Disease. Oxford: Health Press. ISBN 978-1-905832-67-5.
  • Fasano A (2017). Senza glutine. La celiachia non si cura, si gestisce (in Italian). Mondadori. ISBN 9788804681878.
  • Fasano A, Flaherty S, Rocha B (2015). Dieta Sem Glúten - Um Guia Essencial Para Uma Vida Saudável (in Portuguese). Madras. ISBN 978-8537009635.
Media articles for the general public (selection)


  1. ^ Fasano A, Not T, Wang W, Uzzau S, Berti I, Tommasini A, Goldblum SE (April 2000). "Zonulin, a newly discovered modulator of intestinal permeability, and its expression in coeliac disease". Lancet. 355 (9214): 1518–9. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02169-3. PMID 10801176.
  2. ^ Kretschmer H (2010-01-15). "Eating Away at You". Proto Magazine. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  3. ^ Gustafson C (April 2018). "Alessio Fasano, MD: How a Cholera Researcher Became an Expert on Autoimmune Disease". Integrative Medicine. 17 (2): 20–22. PMC 6396758. PMID 30962782.
  4. ^ a b Fasano A. "Zonulin, Gut Permeability, and Antigen trafficking: From Innate Immunity to Autoimmunity" (PDF, 356 kB). I seminari di Biogem.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Expertscape: Celiac Disease, November 2018". November 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-07.