The University of Tampere awarded the Maki Celiac Disease Prize to Chaitan Khosla

Submitted on Fri, 11/25/2016 - 10:44
Professori Chainta Khosla. Kuva: Jonne Renvall
Professor Chaitan Khosla - Photo: Jonne Renvall

The second international Maki Celiac Disease Tampere Prize was awarded to Professor Chaitan Khosla from Stanford University. The prize was awarded in an international celiac disease symposium organised at Tampere Hall in Finland on 25 November.

Professor Khosla directs the new Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health Department at Stanford University.

Professor Khosla was the first to demonstrate the structural basis for gluten intolerance in celiac disease, published in the journal Science in 2002. He demonstrated that the resistance of gluten to degradation in the gastrointestinal tract leads to the generation of relatively long proline-rich gluten fragments that harbour the most immunodominant gluten epitopes involved in celiac disease.

This formed the basis for drug development in celiac disease: the use of oral enzyme supplementation for the efficient breakdown of daily food, wheat, rye and barley proteins in the gastrointestinal tract. Another of his approaches to tackle the unmet needs in treating celiac disease patients is the development of efficient inhibitors of transglutaminase 2, the key player in gluten modification.

The name of the prize is an abbreviation of “multiple approach as key in celiac disease”. The University of Tampere established the prize to honour Professor Markku Mäki who is a leading celiac disease scholar. The prize is 15,000 euro.

The first Maki Prize in 2015 was awarded to the German Professor Detlef Schuppan. In 1997, Schuppan and his research team identified the patient’s own tissue transglutaminase as the autoantigen that triggers celiac disease. That discovery took the research on celiac disease to an entirely new level.

Researchers in different countries are currently developing medicines and vaccines against celiac disease in order to support a gluten-free diet and even to replace it. The Tampere Celiac Disease Symposium provides an opportunity for researchers and drug developers to meet. The scientific conference especially focused on how to measure the possible benefits of drugs and vaccines to celiac patients.

The international Tampere Celiac Disease Symposium was now organised for the first time.

Tampere Celiac Disease Symposium - Measuring Treatment Outcome
Professor Khosla on the website of Stanford University

For more information, please contact:
Professor emeritus Markku Mäki, tel. +358 50 365 6668