Research into pain brings hope

28 November 2018

An exciting research project is searching for a way to relieve pain for people living with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Dr David Bulmer is leading a team at the University of Cambridge, looking at how can pain be managed in people with Crohn’s and Colitis.


It’s a sad reality that regular pain medication often isn't effective in Crohn’s and Colitis. My team is looking to identify the sources of pain in the body’s tissue – and to find a way to turn off that pain.

Dr Bulmer

Along with co-investigator Dr Tim Raine, Dr Bulmer will study MMPs – matrix metalloproteinases – the enzymes that cause tissue damage and inflammation.

There are lots of different reasons why people with Crohn’s or Colitis suffer from pain. It can be because of surgery, or someone’s bowel structure, but a large number of people feel pain even when they’re in remission. 


We’ve made amazing progress and are on the edge of a real breakthrough. 

Dr Bulmer

Dr Bulmer’s research seeks to use MMP inhibitors to identify which of the enzymes stimulate pain-sensitive nerves in Crohn’s and Colitis. This brings hope that the use of the inhibitors could work as an effective treatment of abdominal pain in patients with Crohn's and Colitis.

Funding this exciting research project has only been made possible by the generous support of Crohn's & Colitis UK supporters.

If you make a donation to vital research today, we'll send you a beautiful Star of Hope decoration as a special thank you in time for Christmas.

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star of hope

We are so close now to identifying a really effective way to treat pain in Crohn’s and Colitis – you can help us take a real step into the future. Please add a Star of Hope to your tree this Christmas.

Dr Bulmer