Help fund cures and other vital programs!
With your help, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) has funded more than 1,500 grants to the most promising researchers in the field. Our cumulative investment of over $180 million since CCFA's inception has transformed the management and understanding of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. But there is still much work to be done. In order to find cures for Crohn's and colitis, we must continue to fund research.
Cures start with the researchers...
Each year, the Foundation's National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC) conducts peer review of more than 250 research grant applications, a process modeled after that of the National Institutes of Health. We are currently funding 224 research grants. Here are three of our researchers that are currently being funded:
Leanne Marie Ward, M.D., FAAP, FRCPC
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute,
Project Title: The bone mass deficit in pediatric Crohn's disease: Impact on spine health and the role of muscle function.
Children with Crohn's are known to have thinning of the bones and tendency to fracture. Reasons for this have not been fully identified. Dr. Ward has set out to explain the change in pediatric patients after diagnosis and to resolve the impact of clinical risk and protective factors. This is important because:
- Studying children with Crohn's who manifest musculoskeletal insufficiency informs us of the path of osteoporosis and will give us essential bone health monitoring guidelines.
- The knowledge gained from this study will help design and guide osteoporosis prevention and treatment trials in pediatric Crohn's patients, something that is currently lacking.
- Optimizing skeletal health in childhood can influence skeletal health throughout the lifespan, improving the quality of life for our patients.
Douglas John Kominsky, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Denver, CO
Project Title: The role of cellular methylation in colonic inflammation.
The lining of our intestine contributes to the health of our colon, serving as a wall between the contents of the colon (bacteria, food) and our immune system. IBD is illustrated as a break in this barrier. Exposure leads to inflammation and changes to tissue metabolism. Dr. Kominsky has set out to determine how methylation affects inflammation and how enhancement of these pathways can be used to treat IBD. This is important because:
- This research will determine the mechanisms of how methylation reactions are directing the inflammatory process, and whether expanding these reactions could be an effective treatment for IBD.
- Understanding how our metabolic pathways are affected by inflammation could lead to the development of therapeutic treatments for IBD.
Punyanganie de Silva, MBBS
Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title: A prospective study to investigate the association between diet, aryl hydrocarbon receptors, and inflammatory bowel diseases activity.
There has been a great deal of interest in the scientific field to determine ways of modifying Crohn's and colitis activity through the diet. De Silva has aimed to use patients' medical history, individual food questionnaires, and blood samples to study the intake of fatty acids in the diet and determine how this influences disease activity. This is important because:
- Information discovered from this study could help our understanding between diet and inflammation in IBD.
- Understanding the diet's impact on the disease could lead to better therapies and identification of individuals who would benefit most from those therapies.
With your help, we can continue to fund all of our vital programs. Your support not only funds critical research, but also helps sustain crucial education and support programs for those who are struggling with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.