Charity awards $2.7 million in new grants to health researchers

by Joe Rosengarten08 Aug 2018

Crohn's and Colitis Canada has announced that it will provide $2.7 million in new grants to improve care for the nearly 250,000 Canadians across the county who live with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

The investment in innovative research will be funnelled through the volunteer-based charity’s 2018 Grants-in-Aid of Research and Innovations in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Research Grants. The grants will be awarded to nine Canadian researchers, bringing the total number of projects supported by Crohn's and Colitis Canada this year to 23.

"Funding research is at the very core of our mission to find cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis," says Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn's and Colitis Canada. "As one of the top charity funders of Crohn's and colitis research in the world, we are proud to provide our 2018 Grants-in-Aid of Research and Innovations in IBD Research Grants to Canada's most innovative researchers. We're confident the research these grants support will not only result in improvements to the scope and breadth of treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, but that it will ultimately lead to cures."

Two researchers have been awarded Innovations in IBD Research Grants, which give researchers the opportunity to pilot studies that are of higher risk but could lead to high reward. The remaining seven are ‘Grants-in-Aid of Research’, which aim to advance prevention, treatments, health policy, and ultimately find cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Grants-in-Aid of Research and Innovations in IBD Research Grants are awarded every year to researchers with the top ranked proposals with a clear connection to improving treatment and care for people living with Crohn's or colitis.

2018 Grants-in-Aid of Research Award Recipients:

  • Dr. Christophe Altier, University of Calgary: Dr. Altier will study the complex interaction between spinal microglia and gut-innervating sensory neurons to understand its impact on pain for those living with IBD.
  • Dr. Charles Bernstein, University of Manitoba: Dr. Bernstein will explore the relationship between IBD, depression, anxiety, and fatigue to better understand how these symptoms manifest in people living with IBD.
  • Dr. Fernand-Pierre Gendron, Université de Sherbrooke: Dr. Gendron will research the development of novel IBD-modifying therapies to regulate intestinal inflammation and encourage healing.
  • Dr. Prévost Jantchou, CHU Sainte-Justine: Dr. Jantchou will conduct a randomized controlled trial to compare the effect of high dosage of vitamin D with standard dosage as an adjunct therapy for Crohn's disease.
  • Dr. Christine Lee, Vancouver Island Health Authority: Dr. Lee will conduct a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of fecal microbiota transplantation for the induction of remission in adults with active ulcerative colitis.
  • Dr. Wallace MacNaughton, University of Calgary: Dr. MacNaughton will study the role of novel peptides in the intestine's mucosal healing process which could lead to new therapies to keep people living with IBD in remission.
  • Dr. Derek McKay, University of Calgary: Dr. McKay will research the development of pro-healing macrophages as a novel anti-inflammatory and personalized medicine therapy for people living with IBD.

Crohn's and Colitis Canada's Innovations in IBD Research Grant recipients conduct pilot studies to test highly innovative ideas.

2018 Innovations in IBD Research Grant Recipients:

  • Dr. Phillip Karpowicz, University of Windsor: Dr. Karpowicz will research the circadian rhythm timing in the intestinal epithelium with the aim of identifying the best time for therapeutic interventions for people living with IBD.
  • Dr. Maria Ines Pinto-Sanchez, McMaster University: Dr. Pinto-Sanchez will investigate the effect of combining exclusive enteral nutrition with corticosteroids on moving people living with Crohn's disease into remission.


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