Explore Research

Supporting Research and Setting the Agenda

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is a leading supporter and funder of medical research in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis—collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).  We invest our dollars wisely, funding the best IBD research anywhere in the world and implementing a peer-review process that insures that only the most promising and relevant grant applications are funded.  With more than 1,400 grants awarded the Foundation has played a role in every major scientific breakthrough in IBD, from generating data that led to new therapies to the discovery of the first gene for Crohn's disease.

In addition to supporting individual studies and reports, the Foundation provides research training awards to emerging researchers to help ensure their continued work in the field of IBD throughout their careers.

In fact, many of today's most prominent researchers received training awards from the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation early in their careers. 

Types of Crohn’s and Colitis Research

The Foundation supports both Basic and Clinical research. Basic research studies the complex interactions between genes, bacteria, and the immune response in IBD. Clinical research focuses on translating the findings of basic research into new treatments for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

While the methods and immediate outcomes are different, both basic and clinical research are contributing to our greater understanding of the causes, symptoms, and ultimate cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Goals of Research

While we’ve learned a great deal about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and have made very significant advances, there are still many unanswered questions. Some of the most pressing challenges facing researchers include:

  • Understanding the causes of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Discovering medication that induces remission and prevent relapses in all patients.
  • Preventing complications like abscesses, fistulae, obstruction, and cancer.
  • Predicting and preventing the onset of disease in high-risk individuals.