The has announced two grants totaling $10 million from the to support inflammatory bowel disease research.
One grant will support CCFA's human gut microbiome initiative, which was launched in 2008 to help improve diagnostic tests and develop less toxic and more effective individualized treatments for patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis — conditions that affect more than 1.4 million people in the United States, according to CCFA. The grant will fund the completion of the project, an analysis of a small sample of Crohn's disease twin pairs, and the project's expansion to a multi-institution consortium working to increase understanding of intestinal microbiota in subsets of Crohn's and colitis patients and how these bacteria, fungi, and viruses cause disease in genetically susceptible individuals.
The second grant will support thirteen research projects at twelve institutions in the U.S. and Israel working to address scientifically relevant questions in the areas of immunology, inflammation, microbiology and microbial antigens, signals and signal transduction, host defense, biochemistry, gene expression, carcinogenesis, infection, mucosal immunity, and oral tolerance.
"The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is grateful that the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust grant is making it possible for the foundation to take the human gut microbiome initiative to the next level and allowing for deeper research into more developed projects," said CCFA president Richard J. Geswell. "This is the first time the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation has ever transformed a project from being self-contained to a collaborative effort — a model for future interdisciplinary research."