David Surendran Sanders is Professor of Gastroenterology at The University of Sheffield and an NHS consultant based in The Academic Unit of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital. He is the current Chair of the Coeliac UK Health Advisory Council, BSG Council Member and President of the International Society for the Study of Coeliac Disease (ISSCD). He is a medical doctor, international researcher and author.



MB, ChB, June 1991. The University of Glasgow (1986-1991)


MRCP (UK) 1996
MD (Sheffield University 2003)
FACG (USA 2003)
FRCP (London 2006)


Professor David S SandersProfessor David S Sanders is a Professor of Gastroenterology and a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and the University of Sheffield. He has published more than 300 peer reviewed papers (H-score 45), and is internationally recognised for his work in coeliac disease, gastrostomy feeding and small bowel endoscopy; his other research interests include pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal bleeding.

In 2010 he received a European Rising Star Award and Cuthbertson Medal in 2011 (UK Nutrition Society), and his clinical work with patients who have coeliac disease has also resulted in him being awarded the Coeliac UK Healthcare Professional of the Year Award (2010) and the inaugural Complete Nutrition Coeliac Health Care Professional Award (2013).

CIU team at the Hallamshire with David SandersHe is fortunate to work as part of the Sheffield Gastroenterology Team which has been recognised for their standards of care: The Small Bowel Endoscopy Service won one of the inaugural British Society of Gastroenterology National GI Care awards (2011) and the Medipex award (2013), and in 2012 the PEG team won both Health Service Journal primary care and integrated clinical care awards. In 2014 the Hallamshire Gastroenterology team won one of the SAGE (Shire Awards for Gastrointestinal Excellence) awards for their primary care and GI bleed unit services. Professor Sanders has chaired both the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) Small Bowel and Nutrition Section (2006-2012) and the BSG Audit Committee (2010-2013).

He is the current Chair of the Coeliac UK Health Advisory Council and the elected President of the International Society for the Study of Coeliac Disease (ISSCD).

Gluten Attack

Is gluten waging war on our health? And if so what can we do about it?

The first entirely evidence-based guide revealing the truth about gluten. Gluten is regularly lambasted in the press, demonised by wellbeing experts and banned from more diets every day. But do we know why? Where does the hype end and science begin? And will bread forever be off the menu?

Cutting through the sensationalism, myths and confusion surrounding all things gluten, Professor David Sanders is here to bring us the very latest evidence and groundbreaking research findings from his very personal journey into the heartland of Gluten. Including:

  • Specific advice tailored to suit individual needs, from coeliac to wheat-sensitive and FODMAP
  • A comprehensive look at how exactly gluten affects the body
  • Delicious gluten-free recipes

This book will help to advise you and empower you, both in terms of understanding the evidence and providing guidance about how best to look after yourself – whether gluten is for you or not.


BRET Bardhan Research & Education Trust
Bardhan Research & Education Trust

The primary aim of Bardhan Research and Education Trust of Rotherham (BRET) is to advance our knowledge of 'Food, Function and Gut Health'.

BRET believes that medicine is best served when led by research, supported by science and sustained always by compassion. The Trust aims to improve the wellbeing of people with particular emphasis on food and gut function, encompassing all gastrointestinal diseases and in particular investigating how our bodies respond to what we eat. The Trust seeks to encourage men and women of any age, particularly those based in South Yorkshire, to pursue research or educational activity in this field. The principal requirement and qualification of the candidate is to have the necessary drive, determination and ability to develop good ideas.

The Annual Sheffield Gastroenterology Symposium

Professor David Sanders has been the principal organiser and developer of the Sheffield Gastroenterology Symposium, a Regional Educational Course run on an annual basis. It attracts 4 Royal College of Physician Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points and is badged by the British Society for Gastroenterology (BSG). It is the largest regional educational meeting in the UK (>300 delegates) outside of the BSG National meeting, and feedback evaluation revealed that 90% of delegates described the symposium as 'good to excellent' (which is a relief!). An anonymous SPR free text described this as 'the best teaching over the calendar year- I will book my place immediately for next year!'

The State of the Art Bardhan Lecture is one of the highlights of the meeting.

A second regional meeting is the Bardhan Fellowship which occurs in March/April annually. More than £100K was obtained from the Deanery for Live Endoscopy Links (for training in 2011). The symposium now runs a Pan Yorkshire Live Endoscopy SPR course in the morning and then an SPR prize presentation competition in the afternoon.

The Annual Sheffield Gastroenterology Symposium

Early Years and Education

Sanders was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. His family migrated to the United Kingdom during the 1970s due to civil war. His sister has published a book detailing the journey of his family (Land of Lost Content by Sureshini Sanders ISBN: 9780957681804). His father was Dr Samuel Sanders, Consultant Physician, Glasgow and his uncle was Professor Daniel Sanders, University of Illinois. Sanders spent his early years' schooling in Bearsden, Glasgow (United Kingdom) where he was Proxime Accessit and won the Scottish School boys National Cross Country Championships in 1985 (under 17s category).

Sanders attended Glasgow University Medical School (1986-1991) and then trained in Liverpool, Sheffield and Leeds before becoming an Action Research Fellow in 1999. His MD thesis was in the field of adult coeliac disease (University of Sheffield 2003). He became a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology in 2003.

Ongoing Research

Sanders is an internationally recognised researcher in coeliac disease and gluten related disorders. He has published more than 300 peer reviewed papers (H-score 45). Sanders’ work has focussed on increasing the detection of coeliac disease through case-finding strategies, clinical algorithms, novel point of care testing and endoscopic methods. He benchmarked the prevalence of adult coeliac disease to be 1% within the United Kingdom and his Lancet paper described the first association between irritable bowel type symptoms and unrecognised coeliac disease. Both studies have been cited more than 100 times and were key datasets that influenced subsequent NICE guidelines for the recognition and assessment of coeliac disease.

More recently Sanders has published research assessing whether gluten has a deleterious effect on individuals who do not have coeliac disease. His other areas of research interest include small bowel endoscopy, gastrostomy feeding, pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal bleeding. Sanders has close research links with the Bardhan Research and Education Trust of Rotherham (BRET) for which he acts as the Principal Scientific Advisor and Director.

How coeliac disease affects the bowel

This MagniView Endoscopy Splitscreen video demonstrates part of David's work.



European Rising Star In GI research Award 2010

This is an international research award conferred by the Association of National European and Mediterranean Societies of Gastroenterology (ASNEMGE). Since 2002 this body (comprising of 16 European GI societies) have selected 6-8 clinical scientists who are considered to have an international track record of quality research. The Rising Star award involves giving a lecture at that year’s ASNEMGE Meeting (about 10,000 delegates) and a prize of 500 Euro. Prof Sanders delivered his lecture in Barcelona in October 2010.

Cuthbertson Medal 2011

The Nutrition Society Cuthbertson Medal has been awarded annually since 1990 as a tribute to Sir David Cuthbertson. It is awarded to scientists at an early stage of their career for excellence in Clinical Nutrition and/or Metabolism research providing an evidence base for clinical practice. The work should be of clear relevance to nutritional management in patient care. Prof Sanders was presented the Medal during the British Association of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (BAPEN) Congress in November 2011.

Clinical Service

Coeliac UK Health Care Professional Award 2010

This is an annual award which Coeliac UK confer upon an individual whom they feel has made a significant contribution to coeliac disease and the care of patients with coeliac disease. Prof Sanders has been running a specialist service for patients with coeliac disease since 2002. Twenty to thirty per cent of the referrals are from patients requesting an opinion from outside of Sheffield.

Inaugural National BSG GI care awards 2011

The British Society of Gastroenterology endorsed the National GI care competition (termed the Magic awards due to sponsorship by Movetis. Movetis awards for gastrointestinal care) held for the first time in 2011. This was a three step process of two written applications and then an interview. The Small Bowel Team were winners of one of these awards receiving a £5000 prize which was for further improving or enhancing the clinical service they provide.

Patient Safety Awards 2012

Prof Sanders and his colleagues are part of a gastrostomy feeding team based at the Academic Unit of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals). The Patient Safety Awards are sponsored by the Health Service Journal and Nursing Times. There were over 500 applicants in 10 categories. The team won both the primary care award and also the integrated gastrointestinal care award. They were told by the organisers that this has not happened before. Judges comment: 'it is a recognition of a true multidisciplinary team encompassing a specialist nurse, research fellow and 2 community dietitians'.


Complete Nutrition Coeliac Professional of the Year Award 2013

This is an inaugural award which is based on patients and readers of Complete Nutrition nominating and voting for individuals whom they feel have made a significant contribution to coeliac disease and the care of patients with coeliac disease. The specialist service for patients with coeliac disease is the largest in the UK.

Medipex Award 2013

Medipex is a healthcare innovation hub which works with the NHS, Industry and Academia with the aim of improving patient care through accelerating knowledge transfer and providing market access solutions. They have been running the awards competition since 2004. The small bowel endoscopy team (largest service in the UK) won the secondary care team award for their innovation in this field.

SAGE (Shire Awards for Gastrointestinal Excellence), BSG GI care awards 2014

The Sheffield Gastroenterology team are the only team to have won these awards twice! They originally won in 2011 with the inaugural award (called MAGIC at that time). On this occasion they won for their primary care services and GI Bleed unit. Once again this was a three step process of two written applications and then interview (£5000 prize money).


Chair of British Society of Gastroenterology small bowel & nutrition committee 2006 to 2011

Sanders was a committee member for the BSG small bowel and nutrition committee from 2003-2005. Thereafter he was elected to serve as the chairman. This committee arranges the small bowel symposia for the annual BSG meeting, advises about training issues in this field and commissions’ National guidelines – he is a co-author of the BSG National Guidelines for capsule endoscopy and enteroscopy. In addition, his team is actively involved in engaging/advising the Department of Health (DOH) in any areas of mutual interest.

Chairman of the National Double Balloon Enteroscopy Steering Group 2007 to 2012

The group is one of only 5 centres currently providing the service in tandem with capsule endoscopy. This committee is trying to both disseminate practice at a National level but also influences and advises the DOH about the health and financial implications of this technology.

BSG Audit Committee 2010 to 2013

Sanders was selected by competitive application and interview to be the Chair of the BSG Audit subcommittee (2010 to 2013). They undertook 2 national audits: the first provided detail on the national provision of gastrostomy services (Kurien M et al Scand J Gastroenterol 2011) and the second focussed on the reduction of training opportunities from 76% to 16% for trainees to perform emergency endoscopy on patients with gastrointestinal bleeding (Frontline Gastroenterology 2015).

Chairman of Coeliac UK Health Advisory Committee

Coeliac UK: Sanders was invited and appointed (2010) to become the youngest Chairman of the Health Advisory Council for the national patient charity Coeliac UK. His duties involve chairing the Health Advisory Council meetings, the assessment of grants and sitting on the Charities Board. During this time he has been involved in Coeliac UK moving through transition from free to fee charging membership. The committee has more than 60,000 members and has an interest in supporting individuals with Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity

The Sheffield Institute of Gluten-Related Disorders(SIGReD)

Sanders works within the Sheffield Institute of Gluten-Related Disorders(SIGReD) created by his colleague Professor Marios Hadjivassiliou through collaboration between the departments of Neurology and Gastroenterology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. SIGReD brings together some of the world’s most distinguished researchers and academics who collaborate on pioneering work into how the diagnosis of coeliac disease could be improved through increased recognition of symptoms not always connected to the bowel.

Member of the City of Sheffield Ambassador Programme

David was both honoured and delighted to be selected to join this Sheffield City Council initiative which is based on key individuals who they believe can influence their professional body, association or society and recommend Sheffield as a destination for their conference or event. Ambassadors are helping Sheffield become a preferred destination for conferences and events and a city to do business in.

President of International Society for the Study of Celiac Disease and Board Member of the European Society for the study of Coeliac Disease

Sanders is the current President (2016-2017) of the International Society for the Study of Coeliac Disease (ISSCD), the international organization for all professionals working in the field of Coeliac Disease and gluten-mediated human disease in the broadest understanding of the term. It serves as an umbrella organization of national societies with similar objectives and professional membership - where such are present - for the study of Coeliac Disease; performing, initiating, coordinating and disseminating research and improved understanding of the field of Coeliac Disease (CD) and glute-mediated human disease. The general purpose of the ISSCD is to promote scientific knowledge regarding the field of CD and gluten-mediated human disease. The International Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (ISSCD) was founded in Oslo, Norway on June 21, 2011 at an informal meeting of delegates attending the 14th International Coeliac Disease Symposium (ICDS2011). The ISSCD has been legally incorporated in the Netherlands where its statutes are recorded. Sanders has also been elected to the Board of the recently formed European Society for the Study of Coeliac Disease (ESSCD)

Medicine & Media

Increased awareness in gluten related disease has led to Sanders being interviewed for articles in The Guardian, The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and a number of magazines. He has spoken on BBC Radio Sheffield, BBC World Service and BBC Radio 5 Live. His television appearances have included This Morning (ITV), Food Unwrapped Channel 4 Yourope TV and Food Detectives BBC 2. Sanders is the author of Gluten Attack (Penguin Random House Publishing).

Personal Life

Sanders lives in Sheffield and is married to fellow Glasgow University medical graduate Iman. They have 2 children. Sanders enjoys running, cooking, travel and reading. He and his sisters support a school for orphans run by the church built (between 1888-1892) by his great grandfather Reverend Joseph Sanders in northern Ceylon. Both his sisters are doctors and collectively he and his family have served the NHS for over 100 years.









Talk enquiries

For media, events and booking enquiries contact Deborah French

Literary enquiries

For enquiries relating to David's book, Gluten Attack, contact

Professor David Sanders is a full-time NHS consultant who does not take unsolicited referrals.