The Oakland-based Kenneth Rainin Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.7 million in support of collaborative research projects aimed at improving the prediction and prevention of inflammatory bowel disease.
The grants were awarded through the foundation's Synergy Awards program, which encourages investigators with different expertise to pool their talents and resources toward a research goal that would be unachievable if they worked independently. Investigators receiving grants include Russell Vance (University of California, Berkeley), Karsten Gronert (UC Berkeley), and Jakob von Moltke (University of Washington), who were awarded $300,000 for their research on the role of inflammasomes and tuft cells in eicosanoid release by intestinal epithelial cells; David Padua (University of California, Los Angeles) and Karla Kirkegaard (Stanford University), who will receive $200,000 for their research on long non-coding RNA as a regulator of inflammation in IBD patients; Stephan Rogalla, Sarah Streett, Garry Nolan, Aaron Mayer, and other Stanford researchers, who were awarded $300,000 for research on the use of precision medicine to personalize therapy in IBD patients via biomarker analysis; and John Chang, Gene Yeo, William Sandborn, and other researchers from the University of California, San Diego, who will receive $200,000 for research on new therapeutic targets for IBD using an innovative single-cell sequencing approach.
"The Rainin Foundation focuses its grants on impacting patient lives while still maintaining an eye toward discovery science," said Laura Wilson, the foundation's director of health strategy and ventures. "We want to fund promising ideas from both IBD research and unrelated fields that have the potential to lead to new patient treatments."