The Oakland-based Kenneth Rainin Foundation has announced grants totaling $2 million in support of collaborative research projects aimed at advancing the study of inflammatory bowel disease.
Awarded through the foundation's Synergy Awards program, the grants will support cross-disciplinary research teams collaborating on groundbreaking or unconventional hypotheses and methodologies. The 2019 Synergy Awards recipients include Charles Elson (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Phillip Stafford (Arizona State University), who are working on an IBD peptide immunochip for diagnosis, prognosis, and immune monitoring in Crohn's disease ($178,645); and Yaron Fuchs (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), Hermann Steller (Rockefeller University), and Jeffrey Milsom (Weill Cornell Medicine), who are developing a novel IAP antagonist strategy for the treatment of IBD ($300,000).
Other recipients include Howard Hang (Rockefeller University), Ken Cadwell (New York University), and Thomas Walz (Rockefeller University), who are conducting a mechanistic analysis of NOD2 interactions with commensal bacteria muropeptides in Crohn's disease ($300,000); Kate Jeffrey (Massachusetts General Hospital), Naama Geva-Zatorsky (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), Irah King (McGill University), and Corinne Maurice (McGill University), who are working to reveal a direct immunomodulatory role for bacteriophages to mitigate intestinal inflammation ($300,000); Randy Longman (Weill Cornell Medicine) and Iwijn De Vlaminck (Cornell University), who are studying cell-free DNA as a non-invasive test of bacterial translocation, ileal inflammation, and extra-intestinal Crohn's disease ($200,000); and Thaddeus Stappenbeck and Michael Diamond (Washington University in St. Louis), who are working on virus-induced alteration of intestinal motility as a predisposing factor for IBD ($200,000).
The Rainin Foundation also announced the names of three 2018 Synergy Award recipient teams that made significant progress in their first year of funding and will receive up to two years of additional support. In addition, the foundation issued an RFP for its Innovator Awards, which will provide grants of up to $200,000 for research projects with the potential to improve the prediction and prevention of IBD.
"The foundation's health funding continues to focus on improving outcomes for IBD patients," said Laura Wilson, the foundation's director of health strategy and ventures. "Both our Synergy and Innovator Awards programs support innovative methodologies from researchers within and outside of IBD research that could lead to breakthroughs for this complex disease."