Current Research Studies
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation supports several major ongoing research initiatives and clinical studies to encourage cooperative efforts among investigators, research centers, and other resources.
Explore the initiatives below to learn more about the broad range of IBD research studies supported by the Foundation, and how you can become more involved in this important work.
Early Foundation-supported research helped to prove that the millions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit the human gut (i.e., our “microbiome”) are a key link between genetic susceptibility and the onset and progression of IBD. However, due to the microbiome’s enormous complexity (i.e., it varies from person-to-person and also changes day-to-day), the different functions and interactions of these organisms continue to be largely unknown. In 2008, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation established the Microbiome Initiative, a consortium of the country’s top IBD researchers, to study the precise mechanisms by which intestinal microbiota contribute to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Our goal is the translation of new insights and discoveries into specific strategies for microbiome-targeted interventions that more effectively treat, and may even prevent, IBD.
The Genetics Initiative continues the work of several recent studies that have demonstrated how specific organisms in the gut can cause inflammatory bowel diseases in the presence of specific genes, and that specific genes only cause disease in the presence of specific organisms. The Genetics Initiative is a collaborative effort to better understand the genes and their functions, and the chain of biological events that result in IBD (the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases).
Pediatric RISK Stratification Study
The Pediatric RISK Stratification Study (RISK) is designed to identify the genetic, microbiological, and immunological factors in children that are predictive of more severe IBD. 1, 100 patients at 28 centers in the United States and Canada have been recruited and enrolled at disease onset, and are being prospectively followed for complications and response to therapies. RISK findings will translate into new protocols for individualized approaches to treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in children, aged 10 and under, and enable physicians to predict and prevent progression to severe disease and its lifelong consequences.
IBD Partners is a patient-powered research network that uses IBD patients’ self-reported information to enable innovative investigations into issues most important to those diagnosed with IBD, i.e., how disease progression and various treatment options impact their health outcomes and quality of life. More than 15,000 adult patients are providing feedback and data, as well as their own ideas for research, in this unique and vital partnership between IBD patients and the scientific community.
Clinical Research Networks
The Clinical Research Networks are a collaboration of major medical centers and smaller, local facilities working on clinical studies of the management and treatment of IBD. Members include hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and research facilities that have developed an IBD-related research program administered by a principal investigator.
Ocean State Crohn’s & Colitis Area Registry
The Ocean State Crohn's & Colitis Area Registry (OSCCAR) is a CDC-sponsored research study that investigates the epidemiology of IBD and the impact of practice variation on treatment outcomes. In collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and investigators at Rhode Island Hospital, OSCCAR enrolled 408 newly diagnosed IBD patients from Rhode Island between 2007 and 2012, and has been tracking and analyzing their disease progression, treatment, and health outcomes. OSCCAR-derived information and data has enabled numerous studies that increase our understanding of IBD and its progression over time, and that are helping physicians to provide more effective, individualized treatment for their patients.
Voices of Progress
This colloquium brought together leading researchers to share their latest work in therapies, genetics, nutrition, and much more.