Posted on April 28, 2018

Research by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) alumnus Dr. Emad Mansoor has won a prestigious award at one of the world’s leading gastroenterology conferences.

Dr. Mansoor, who graduated WCM-Q in 2014, won the Fellows-in-Training Award for his oral presentation of his research at the meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held at the World Congress of Gastroenterology event in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Mansoor’s study analyzed the diagnostic data of more than 35 million U.S. residents collected over a five-year period and found that patients with eosinophilic esophagitis – a debilitating autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the esophagus – are nine times more likely to have celiac disease than the general public. Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder in which consumption of the protein gluten, found in wheat, rye and barley, triggers an allergic reaction and causes damage to the small intestine, interfering with the absorption of nutrients from food. The findings of the study make a case for introducing routine screening for celiac disease among eosinophilic esophagitis patients.

Dr. Mansoor, who is now a Gastroenterology Fellow in the Digestive Health Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, said: “What was really interesting was that we found an overall prevalence of celiac disease in eosinophilic esophagitis patients of two percent, which is a rather high prevalence given that in the general population the prevalence of celiac disease ranges from 0.25 to one percent at best. “We think this has great implications for the way we treat, screen and manage celiac disease as well as eosinophilic esophagitis.”

Dr. Mansoor explained that the data review suggested there may be some overlap in the genetic and environmental factors underlying eosinophilic esophagitis and celiac disease. This is significant because while it is known that celiac disease is triggered by gluten, the environmental trigger of eosinophilic esophagitis remains unknown. Understanding the association between the two diseases more fully could help researchers and physicians develop more effective treatments in future. Following his graduation from WCM-Q, Dr. Mansoor completed a three-year Internal Medicine residency program at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, senior associate dean for population health, capacity building and student affairs, and professor of healthcare policy and research at WCM-Q, said: “It is truly wonderful news to hear of this great success by Dr. Mansoor, one of our most talented and dedicated former students. His success is a source of huge pride and inspiration to both faculty and students at WCM-Q, and he is a great ambassador for the college.”