Public Release: 

Prestigious Crohn's and Colitis Canada grants fund promising Canadian research

Crohn's and Colitis Canada


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Credit: Crohn's and Colitis Canada

Crohn's and Colitis Canada has invested $3.4 million this year to support innovative research on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, debilitating chronic diseases that affect more than 233,000 Canadians.

These grants will support 9 promising research projects across Canada. This diverse research will explore genetic and environmental causes of the diseases, improve our understanding (and potential treatment) of symptoms and consider innovations to improve patient care and quality of life.

Crohn's and Colitis Canada funds progressive and innovative projects that bring together the finest scientific minds to find new approaches and treatments for Crohn's and colitis, known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease. Their highly competitive granting process assigns funding applications to an independent peer review panel of scientific experts and lay reviewers, evaluating applications on scientific merit, relevancy and potential impact for Crohn's and colitis patients. "The Grant Review Committee is dedicated to selecting excellent research that also addresses the needs of both patients and the Crohn's and colitis community as a whole" says Marla Rosen, a Grant Review Committee lay member and the mother of a child with Crohn's.

The incidence of Crohn's and colitis has been rising, particularly since 2001, and significantly so in children under the age of 10. Canada has among the highest reported prevalence (number of people) and incidence (number of new cases per year) of these diseases in the world. Crohn's and colitis are lifelong diseases that can result in pain, urgent bathroom visits, hospital stays, and multiple surgeries. They can affect academic success, careers, and relationships.

"Crohn's and Colitis Canada is proud to fund and inspire the most promising research" says Lindee David, Chief Executive Officer at Crohn's and Colitis Canada. "Our research investments are improving the lives of people affected by Crohn's and colitis, moving us forward to ultimately finding cures."



"Repairing damage to the intestinal lining is a key step to resolving inflammation in the gut. Our proposed studies will identify pathways that may be targets for new therapies to enhance healing in IBD patients." - 2014 grant recipient Dr. Wallace MacNaughton, Professor and Head, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.

"The rate of childhood-onset IBD is rising rapidly in Canada. Using population-based health databases from 5 provinces, researchers from the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium (CanGIEC) will determine the burden placed by childhood-onset IBD on Canada's health system. The investigators will measure the amount of variation in the health care provided, including differences in wait-times, surgical rates, hospitalization rates, and investigations to determine whether it is associated with differences in outcomes of these children. By doing so, this project will focus attention on how we could improve the care provided, in order to improve the lives of our most vulnerable patients with IBD." - 2014 grant recipient Dr. Eric Benchimol, Principal Investigator, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa.

Quick facts about Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

  • Crohn's and colitis are disorders that cause the intestines to become inflamed and ulcerated. This is caused by an abnormal response to the body's immune system.
  • There are more than 233,000 Canadians living with Crohn's and colitis.
  • One in every 150 Canadians has Crohn's and colitis - a rate that ranks in the highest worldwide
  • Crohn's and colitis costs Canadians $2.8 billion per year in medical costs, patient out-of-pocket expenses and work absences

Crohn's and Colitis Canada (formerly known as the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada) is a volunteer-based charity dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and to improving the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. As Canada's leading non-governmental funder of Crohn's and colitis research, we have invested almost $90 million to foster advances in research, education, awareness and advocacy to date. By working together, we can help advance the understanding of these diseases and fund the programs that will result in more treatment options and, ultimately, cures.

Please visit, join us on, follow us on Twitter at @getgutsycanada or call 1-800-387-1479.

For more information on these exciting research investments, please visit:

SOURCE: Crohn's and Colitis Canada

Note: For more information or to arrange interviews with funded researchers or Crohn's and Colitis Canada staff, please contact:

Kari Larson
Research Grants and Awards Coordinator
Crohn's and Colitis Canada
Telephone 1-800-387-1479 ext. 252

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