Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Receives NIH Grant To Continue Research In Rare Gastrointestinal Diseases

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Receives NIH Grant To Continue Research In Rare Gastrointestinal Diseases


(NEW YORK –October 4, 2019)  –   Mirna Chehade, MD, MPH, a specialist in eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will continue working on a five-year, clinical research project recently re-funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, put forth by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Center for Advancing Translation Sciences and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, was announced by the NIH on October 3.


Dr. Chehade, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Mount Sinai, is the founding director of the Mount Sinai Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (MSCED) at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. The MSCED provides cutting- edge clinical care, research and support for patients with eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases and their families, including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), eosinophilic gastritis (EG) and eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE).


Dr. Chehade will serve as the site Principal Investigator of the Consortium of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Researchers (CEGIR), re-funded by the NIH grant to research eosinophilic gastrointestinal and allergic disorders and she will involve Mount Sinai patients in this research.  “I am thrilled to be leading these innovative and cutting-edge research studies here at the MSCED at Mount Sinai alongside a group of World–renown experts. Together, we are working against the clock to solve the mystery of these rare diseases, which have no FDA-approved treatments and whom we can only treat with experimental treatments and diet modifications. We hope our collaborative efforts will dramatically improve the lives of patients suffering from EGIDs and those of their families.” says Dr. Chehade.


Glenn T. Furuta, MD, director of the Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Diseases Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, is the administrative director of CEGIR and states, “CEGIR presents an outstanding opportunity for experts from across the world to continue to perform collaborative clinical research and to train a new generation of investigators.  Research will be guided by patient advocacy groups and results from these studies will bring transformative changes to the care of patients with EGIDs.”


Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders are chronic inflammatory disorders, thought to be triggered by allergic hypersensitivity to certain foods and an over-accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract of white blood cells called eosinophils, which are part of the body’s immune system. Eosinophilic disorders can cause a variety of gastrointestinal complaints including reflux-like symptoms, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, tissue scarring, fibrosis, the formation of strictures, diarrhea, abdominal pain, failure to grow in childhood, and other medical complications.  “Our patients have ‘slow food’ allergies, versus the food allergic patient who experiences a ‘fast food’ allergy and succumbs to immediate and acute reactions, such as anaphylaxis. My patients are especially challenging to treat because their response takes place slowly, over a long period of time; therefore, identifying the food culprit is very difficult.” says Dr. Chehade.


When inflammation is in the esophagus, the condition is known as eosinophilic esophagitis.  When it is in the stomach, the condition is called eosinophilic gastritis.  When it is in the stomach and either the esophagus and/or intestines, it is called eosinophilic gastroenteritis. When it is in the colon, it is known as eosinophilic colitis. In the previous grant, inflammation in the esophagus, stomach and colon was studied.  The new grant will focus on these three conditions, in addition to eosinophilic gastroenteritis.


Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, director of the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is the principal investigator on the grant and states, “These are painful, chronic diseases that make it difficult and sometimes impossible for individuals to eat many or all foods.  I look forward to continuing to advance the understanding and better treatment of these diseases by collaborating with outstanding researchers, patients and patient advocacy groups, as well as training the next generation of clinicians and researchers who will be experts in these diseases.”


In addition to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Dr. Furuta’s and Dr. Rothenberg’s sites, CEGIR includes clinical researchers from Rady Children’s Hospital, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Northwestern University,  the National Institutes of Health, Tufts Medical Center, University of North Carolina, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic, University of Arkansas, University of California, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Illinois, University of Pennsylvania, University of Utah and Bern University Switzerland.


These sites have expertise in relevant clinical specialties, including gastroenterology, allergy, immunology and pathology and the ability to integrate children and adult patients into the consortium.


The CEGIR will also work with patient advocacy groups, including the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED), the Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease (CURED), and the Eosinophilic Family Coalition (EFC), to address the clinical problems of most importance to patients and their families.




About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest integrated delivery system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai’s vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,480 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 410 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Medical Schools”, aligned with a U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” Hospital, No. 12 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics in the 2019-2020 “Best Hospitals” issue. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 12th nationally for Ophthalmology and Mount Sinai South Nassau is ranked 35th nationally for Urology. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, Mount Sinai West, and Mount Sinai South Nassau are ranked regionally.

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Related links

Dr. Chehade- MSCED Webpage:


CEGIR Website:


Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network: