My research interests focus in two distinct areas. The first is that of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and enteropathy. This research program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, focuses on clinical epidemiology of celiac disease, the role of genetics in predicting disease, the development of animal models for the disease and its associated dermatologic condition, and dermatitis herpetiformis. These studies are done in collaboration with the Departments of Dermatology, Immunology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics. These studies encompass complications of celiac disease including small bowel cancer and intersect with programs in the Mayo Comprehensive Clinical Cancer Center and the Clinical Research Unit (CRU). This comprehensive research program compliments the clinical celiac disease clinic activity.
Research focus number two revolves around esophageal disorders, particularly esophageal functional disorders, particularly reflux, and the detection of atypical reflux. This focuses on the use of novel methods for studying esophageal function such as heat impedance and, in particular, the methods for correlating reflux symptoms with actual reflux. Another esophageal focus is that of the condition of esosinophilic esophagitis, specifically translational research looking at the association between allergic disorders and that of eosinophilic infiltration of the esophagus.