We’re funding five new exciting research projects this year

We’re delighted to announce that we awarded funding to five new research projects at the end of 2023, totalling £452,504. We are extremely thankful to our amazing donors, fundraisers, and those who left us legacies, without their hard work and generosity, this would not have been possible. We are thrilled to be able to continue to support researchers to better understand the causes and improve treatments for Crohn’s and Colitis. We strive to improve the lives of people living with the conditions, and ultimately to find a cure.

Similar to our 2022 grant call, our 2023 grant call asked for proposals which targeted an area of unmet need in IBD. The research priorities we focused on were identified by feedback from our community, and the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership.

We received many high-quality applications, which were assessed by our Research Awards Panel which includes people with scientific or medical expertise of IBD and people with lived experience of IBD. Shortlisted applications underwent a rigorous external peer review in line with Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) guidelines. You can read more about our research management processes and how we fund research here.

Find out more about the five successful projects below.

Developing a lab-grown gut model of strictures

Dr Laween Meran, Francis Crick Institute & University of Oxford

Award: £ 99,914

Duration: 36 months

Strictures are a major challenge in Crohn’s Disease treatment. We need better lab models so we can find out why strictures develop, and test whether new medicines can stop strictures developing.

Dr Laween Meran

Francis Crick Institute & University of Oxford

Read more about this study

Understanding and predicting medicine resistance

Dr David Ma, Imperial College London

Award: £99,942

Duration: 24 months

Some medicines used to treat inflammatory bowel disease may not work for some people. Understanding why this happens can help us find more precise ways for people to get the effective treatment they need.

Dr David Ma

Imperial College London

Read more about this study

A new indicator of gut inflammation and healing in children with Crohn’s or Colitis

Professor David Wilson, University of Edinburgh

Award: £98,814

Duration: 27 months

Children and young people with IBD and their families wish to have paediatric-orientated investigations and treatments; they will be delighted if we can develop biomarkers that will decrease the need for invasive endoscopy (and the bowel prep!) and increase personalisation of their therapy.

Professor David Wilson

University of Edinburgh

Read more about this study

Understanding how the immune system affects the development of perianal fistulas

Mr Phil Tozer, St Mark's Hospital

Award: £54,143

Duration: 36 months

Current treatments for perianal Crohn's Disease often fail to heal fistulas. Because of this, there’s a need to better understand the biology of perianal Crohn's Disease, particularly the link between inflammation and tissue healing, so we can develop better treatments for this group of patients.

Mr Phil Tozer

St Mark’s Hospital

Read more about this study

Using AI to find pre-cancerous and cancerous changes in the bowel

Dr Venkat Subramanian, University of Leeds

Award: £98,691

Duration: 24 months

Bowel cancer is one of the most serious complications of IBD, patients worry about developing it and clinicians devote large proportions of time and resources trying to detect it early, treat it or ideally prevent it.

Dr Venkat Subramanian

University of Leeds

Read more about this study

Want to be part of research?

The best quality research happens when people with Crohn's and Colitis are involved, and you can make a difference at every stage of research.


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