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OCTOBER 2-4, 2018

Quebec City Convention Centre, Canada


Research Associate in the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University

“Gluten-related disorders: a woman’s health perspective”


Heather Galipeau, BHSc, PhD, is a Research Associate in the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University. Heather’s research is focused on dietary and microbial interactions and how this impacts the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal diseases such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Using both a molecular approach and humanized mouse models, her long-term goal is to understand the events that trigger these diseases and to identify novel therapeutic or preventative strategies.


Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder that is triggered in genetically susceptible persons by the ingestion of gluten present in wheat, barley and rye. Currently, the worldwide sero-prevalence of celiac disease is estimated to be 1.4%, and it continues to rise. In addition, the disease is 1.5 times more common in females than in males. Clinically, it is a systemic disorder that can manifest with severe gastrointestinal symptoms and malabsorption or extra-intestinal manifestations that include osteoporosis, fractures, iron deficiency anemia and infertility. This clinical heterogeneity is a challenge for diagnosis, resulting in the disease being heavily underdiagnosed. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is a life-long adherence to a strict, gluten-free diet (GFD), which is restrictive and difficult to follow. Untreated disease or failure to follow a strict GFD is associated with persistent symptoms, complications and comorbidities, which have important implications in female patients. These relate to reproductive complications and low bone mineral density, which can be prevented with a timely diagnosis, a gluten-free diet and proper follow-up. The current lack of pharmacological therapy and complete reliance on what is considered a dietary therapy with limitations, underscores the need for continued research into the pathogenesis of celiac disease so preventative or adjuvant therapies can be targeted.


Le rendez-vous international sur les ingrédients et aliments santé qui se tiendra du 6 au 8 octobre 2020 au Centre des congrès de Québec au Canada. Propulsé par l’expertise du Québec en matière d’alimentation santé, BÉNÉFIQ est un lieu de synergie incontournable pour tous les scientifiques et industriels de ce secteur en constante effervescence.
Une initiative de l’Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels (INAF)


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