The Oakland-based Kenneth Rainin Foundation has announced grants totaling $2.2 million to eighteen investigators around the world in support of research with the potential to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
Awarded through the foundation's Innovator Awards program, the grants will fund research on the potential of engineered probiotics to deliver treatment to specific disease sites, the role of bacteria in protecting the gut, and other initiatives. Recipients — half of whom are female investigators, a first for the foundation's grant programs in the general area of health — include Theresa Alenghat (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center), Gretchen Diehl (Baylor College of Medicine), Edward Giles (Monash University), David Julius (University of California, San Francisco), Cammie Lesser (Massachusetts General Hospital), Yan Chun Li (University of Chicago), Susan Lynch (University of California, San Francisco), and Mark Travis (University of Manchester).
"When we realized the majority of our Health grants were going to men, we worked with our Scientific Advisory Board to address this disparity. I'm proud that we have gender equity in our new class of grantees," said Laura Wilson, the foundation's director of health strategy and ventures. "While this is an important first step, we will continue addressing barriers and biases that affect female researchers to ensure diverse perspectives are helping us solve IBD."
(Photo credit: Kenneth Rainin Foundation)