Research Programs

Since 1967 the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation has been the leader in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) research. Funding over $250 million to researchers all over the world, the Foundation funds scientists at all phases of their career, supporting investigators at the forefront of IBD research and establishing the Foundation as the pre-eminent IBD research program for non-partisan, peer-reviewed, and results oriented basic and clinical IBD research.

Research Program Overview

Each year, the Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC) conducts peer review of more than 250 grant applications, a process modeled after that of the National Institutes of Health. Grants are awarded on the basis of scientific merit and relevance to IBD to both Senior Researchers and Young Investigators. Additionally, the Foundation identifies the most pressing areas of need and solicits work by developing and publicizing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) based on unmet needs arising from their frequently updated research priorities. Through this type of initiative, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has funded studies all over the world including in Europe, Israel, Japan, and Australia.

In 2015, the Foundation funded $28 million in research. As a result, this year alone, the Foundation is providing support for more than 197 grants at some of the most respected research institutions in the country.

The Foundation's research program has four major goals:

  1. Identify and fund the best peer-reviewed, investigator-initiated research in IBD;
  2. Provide seed money to allow investigators to generate enough preliminary data to compete for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH);
  3. Encourage outstanding investigators to choose a career in IBD research; and
  4. Discover and support emerging areas of research that could impact the scientific community’s understanding of the causes of and potential cures for IBD and that has the potential to improve clinical care.


The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Research Program has:

  • Partially funded a study that identified the first gene specific to Crohn’s disease (known as NOD2) and continuing studies leading to the discovery of almost 200 genes to date.
  • Supported the initial research in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) that ultimately led to the discovery of infliximab (also known as Remicade®) and other biologic treatments.
  • Supported studies to see if drugs approved for other disease indications or combination therapies are effective in IBD.  This includes Methotrexate, Azothioprine, 6-Mercaptopurine (6-MP), Budesonide, Antibiotics, and the 5-ASA drugs, all of which are now standard treatments for IBD.
  • Supported a pediatric consortium that is investigating genetic, immunologic, microbial and clinical predictors of outcome of children with recently diagnosed Crohn’s disease

Additionally, 82% of our past funded researchers have received related grants from other funding sources, mostly from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), resulting in over $100 million in additional research funds.

The Foundation funds only the very best IBD research that is taking place, no matter where that may be. As a result, an investment in the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is an investment in our quest for a cure.

To learn more about the Research Program, 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 our Research Programs.