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$1.2M awarded to Crohn’s and colitis researchers


Toronto, ON – Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has awarded four research grants, totalling $1,229,750, to researchers across Ontario. The grants will support a number of research projects relating to Crohn’s and colitis, known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Drs. Aleixo Muise and Daniela Rotin at The Hospital for Sick Children have been awarded $371,460 for their investigation of the role of certain genes in the symptoms and causes of IBD. “With this grant we will examine how these genes work by using cutting edge experimental techniques to better understand the role of these genes in IBD,” said Dr. Muise.

An award of $268,620 will support Queen’s University researchers Drs. Dean Tripp and Michael Beyak, to study the social and psychological factors affecting quality of life for those with IBD. “Our research examines IBD pain (location, severity), and its negative impact on patients’ lives” says Dr. Tripp. “[Our] approach offers a new theoretical and clinical direction to improve quality of life.”

Dr. Eric Benchimol at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences has been awarded $369,560 to investigate the effects that rapidly rising childhood-onset IBD rates have on our healthcare 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” says Dr. Benchimol. “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.”

At McMaster University, Dr. Brian Coombes has been awarded $220,110 to fund research on the link between E. coli infection and IBD.

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.