A significant increase in the prevalence of a number of inflammatory diseases has occurred during the last four decades in many developed countries. In some of these conditions, there is evidence in the literature that a large portion of the increase in prevalence is real. For example, serological testing in similar cohorts over time has shown that the prevalence of celiac disease autoimmunity has increased significantly in some developed countries.
The primary objective of my research is to identify modifiable risk factors for inflammatory conditions, which in some cases may also have contributed to the increased prevalence. The conditions that my collaborators and I have focused on are autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and celiac disease. In both of these conditions, we have conducted case-control epidemiological survey studies via the Internet to test whether select variables are associated with these conditions.
I am interested in validating some of our findings on potential risk factors for these conditions using higher quality datasets. In addition, I hope to gain greater insight into the role of specific environmental variables through gene x environment interaction studies.