Clinical Research Alliance

Since 1967 the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation has been the leader in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) research. The Foundation has invested over $250 million to date to support highly qualified researchers around the world at all phases of their career. By supporting investigators at the forefront of IBD research, the Foundation offers the preeminent IBD research programs for non-partisan, peer-reviewed, and results orientated basic and clinical IBD research.


The mission of the Clinical Research Alliance is to ask and answer clinically relevant questions that would not otherwise be studied, with the ultimate goal of improving the life of patients with IBD.


The goals of the Clinical Research Alliance are to

  1. Pursue therapeutic questions using large clinical studies with a multidisciplinary approach, integrating information from basic science, epidemiology, and psychosocial investigations,
  2. Answer clinically relevant questions regarding patient management, and
  3. Provide centralized data management for clinical studies supported by the Foundation.


A common challenge facing clinical investigators is the ability to recruit adequate numbers of patients into studies in order to obtain statistically meaningful results. It is typical that no single center has a sufficiently large patient population to answer the study question. Thus, multiple centers must collaborate in order to perform valid clinical studies. The Clinical Research Alliance provides a structure and forum for clinical researchers who focus on IBD to share and refine research ideas and create research collaborations. Additionally, the Clinical Research Alliance members can draw upon the expertise of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Data Management Center. The experience of the Data Management Center with IBD studies allows increased efficiency with each additional study.

The Clinical Research Alliance will ensure the most expeditious and cost-effective environment for the performance of clinical investigations in inflammatory bowel diseases. The Alliance will establish templates for research, identify patients suitable for clinical trials and patient-based studies, and standardize investigative parameters. Most importantly, the Alliance will expand the study population beyond those presenting at specialized referral centers to include not only the most extreme cases of IBD but also less severe cases that better represent the broad IBD population. This broad spectrum may permit more complete glimpses into disease onset, natural history, and the impact of the cost of care. Updates on ongoing studies will be housed on a newly-launched website:


Hans Herfarth. M.D., Ph.D., Chair CCFA Clinical Alliance

• Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Robert S. Sandler, M.D., MPH, Director, Data Management Center, CCFA Clinical Alliance

• Chief, UNC Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

• Director, UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology & Disease

• Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


$500,000 to $5 million per year to support infrastructure and clinical projects

For more information about the Clinical Research Alliance, click here.

You can support the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation by clicking here or you can speak with Allison Coffey at 917-476-6511 to learn how to support the Clinical Research Alliance.