The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is fortunate to have world-renowned celiac disease experts leading the organization including:

Stefano Guandalini, MD, Carol Semrad, MD, Sonia Kupfer, MD and Bana Jabri, MD, PhD.

Carol McCarthy Shilson is the Executive Director.  The Celiac Disease Center is supported by a lean staff, dynamic adviosory board and a team of doctors, nurses and registered dietitians as well as an expansive network of doctors in related specialities.

Medical Leadership:

Stefano Guandalini, MD

Carol Semrad, MD

Bana Jabri, MD, PhD



Carol McCarthy Shilson, Executive Director

Ronit Rose, Program Manager

NurAlima Grandison, Research Study Coordinator



Stefano Guandalini, MD

Professor of Pediatrics, University of Chicago

Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Chicago Children's Hospital

Founder and Medical Director, The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center


Dr. Guandalini is founder and medical director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.  Dr. Guandalini received his medical degree from the University of Messina, in Italy, in 1971, where he graduated with high honors. After his pediatric residency at University of Messina, he completed his fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at the prestigious University of Naples, where he became an Assistant Professor. In 1977-79, he spent two years as a research associate in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago, where he did active bench research on the pathophysiology of diarrheal disease. Shortly after he returned to Italy, he received a promotion to associate professor and then became a full professor at the University of Naples in 1988. From 1990 to 1995, Dr. Guandalini served as the Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Catanzaro.

Dr. Guandalini’s scientific and professional career has focused on diarrheal diseases of children, with a major emphasis on celiac disease. In 1990 he coordinated a national effort in Italy resulting in the publication of the largest series of patients ever published, which resulted in the revision of the 20-year-old ESPGHAN guidelines for diagnosing celiac disease. These new guidelines are currently used worldwide both for pediatric and adult celiac patients.

Dr. Guandalini joined the University of Chicago Department of Pediatrics in 1996, where he serves as Section Chief of the Department of Pediatrics Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Dr. Guandalini currently serves as President of FISPGHAN, the Federation of International Societies for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He was selected from a world-wide pool of candidates as the first president for this federation. Dr. Guandalini has been President of the Italian Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, and Hepatology. He is the immediate past president of ESPGHAN, the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Dr. Guandalini was born in Rome, and spent his childhood in Messina, Italy, where his mother's family originated. His father's family is from the northern Italian town of Modena.

Carol Semrad, MD  

Dr. Semrad is the primary adult celiac disease specialist at the University of Chicago and part of the medical leadership of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. 

Dr. Carol Semrad, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, received her M.D. from Columbia University in New York in 1982. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Gastroenterology at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York. She also completed a visiting clinical fellowship in Nutrition at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. From 1990 until 2003, Dr. Semrad continued to work in various capacities at Presbyterian Hospital, New York Presbyterian, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, including a position as Associate Attending Phjysician from 1999 to 2003 at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

In 2003, Dr. Semrad accepted a position as Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She specializes in adult celiac disease at the University, as well as diarrheal infections, malabsorption syndromes and nutrition. She is the recipient of a number of awards, including the American Gastroenterological Association’s Senior Research Fellow Award and Research Scholar Award and Columbia University Chapter Outstanding Woman Physician Award. She has also authored or co-authered numerous peer-reviewed articles, including “Bone Mass and Gastrointestinal Disease,” (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 904: 564-570) and “Seeing the light with celiac” (Clinical Immunology 115: 236-238).

Bana Jabri, PhD

Dr. Jabri is one of the leading researchers of celiac disease in the world and has directed the research team at University of Chicago Celiac Center since 1999.  With her leadership, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Research continues to make great strides in determining what triggers the abnormal reaction to gluten in celiac disease and is working toward finding a cure for the disease.  

Bana Jabri, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor in the departments of Medicine, Pathology and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and is a member of the Committee on Immunology. She is also co-Director of the University of Chicago Digestive Disease Research Core Center and Director of Research for the Celiac Disease Center.

Dr. Jabri completed her residency in Pediatric Gastroenterology in 1991 at the Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris, and her Ph.D., in  Immunology at the University Paris, VII in 1996. From 1999 to 2002, Dr. Jabri worked in research at Princeton University, after which she joined the University of Chicago. During this period, she served as Ad-Hoc reviewer for the Celiac Program Project at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. She has coauthored numerous articles in peer-reviewed publications on celiac disease and other digestive disorders. One of Dr. Jabri's current research focuses is on discovering markers that can identify gluten sensitivity before antibodies to gluten are present. She has received grant support for this work from the NIH.


Carol McCarthy Shilson, Executive Director

Mrs. Shilson is a former publishing and public relations executive and joined the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center as Executive Director in February, 2007. Mrs. Shilson has served as deputy press secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois, Public Relations Director and Associate Production Director with Chicago magazine and, most recently, as Senior Vice President of Imagination Publishing, a leading custom publishing firm based in Chicago.

Mrs. Shilson, biopsy diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005 (after more than 10 years of misdiagnosis) is a passionate advocate for celiac disease.  She is the youngest of twelve children, an avid tennis player, raised in Detroit and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Ronit Rose, Program Manager

Ronit Rose joined the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center in 2004 and has been an integral part of the organization's success.

Ronit has a background in journalism, and is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College.  She is responsible for publishing the Center's newsletter Impact and also oversees the Annual Blood Screening and the Care Package Program as well as many of the other programs. 

Ronit is often the voice of the Celiac Center Information Line and has assisted countless callers over the years. 

NurAlima Grandison, Research Study Coordinator

Nuralima brings with her a strong background in healthcare, research, and early childhood education. NurAlima is a graduate of Connecticut College and the rigorous post-baccalaureate premedical program at Columbia University. She grew up in western Massachusetts, and is the oldest of four children. She worked in various research capacities at both at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. We are thrilled to have NurAlima join our team.