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 2000, the research team of Alessio Fasano discovered zonulin, which regulates the 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 others, 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[1] and has also been featured in numerous journals and magazines for the general public.


Fasano has received several awards for his work:[1]

  • 2018 Expertscape recognized Dr. Fasano as #8 in the world for expertise in Celiac Disease.[2]
  • 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


  • Alessio Fasano, Susie Flaherty: Gluten Freedom, Wiley, 2014, ISBN 978-1-118-42310-3
  • Alessio Fasano (Editor), Riccardo Troncone (Editor), David Branski (Editor): Frontiers in Celiac Disease, S. Karger Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-3-805-58526-2
  • Alessio Fasano: A Clinical Guide to Gluten-Related Disorders Paperback, LWW, 2013, ISBN 978-1-451-18263-7
  • Alessio Fasano, Geoffrey Holmes, Carlo Catassi, Fast Facts. Celiac Disease Health Press, Oxford 2009 ISBN 9781905832675
  • Alessio Fasano, Senza glutine. La celiachia non si cura, si gestisce, (in Italian), Mondadori, 2017 ISBN 9788804681878
  • Alessio Fasano, Susie Flaherty, Bianca Rocha, Dieta Sem Glúten - Um Guia Essencial Para Uma Vida Saudável, Madras, (in Portuguese), 2015, ISBN 978-8537009635
Media articles for the general public (selection)