Foundation Grants Over $4 Million For IBD Research - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Foundation Grants Over $4 Million For IBD Research

Dr. Jamie Spangler wearing a white lab coat and gloves, working in her lab. Jamie Spangler, PhD, in her lab at Johns Hopkins. Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins.

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation has awarded $4.15 million through our Innovator Awards Program. In 2022, we consolidated our Health grantmaking into one grant program—the Innovator Awards—to streamline our support for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research. Grants support individual research projects as well as collaborative projects involving multiple investigators.

“The grants we awarded aim to foster new collaborations and support innovative research, which is especially important given the complexities of IBD,” said Laura Wilson, PhD, Director, Health Strategy & Ventures.

The Foundation encourages collaborations between investigators, especially basic scientists and clinicians, to deliver advancements that improve the lives of people with IBD. One promising field of study that grantees continue to explore is diet, examining the components of microbiota and diet that can affect outcomes for IBD patients.  

“This funding will help my lab to understand new ways by which beneficial and harmful bacteria interact with B cells in the gut, which could have important implications for future treatment of IBD,” said Manuela Raffatellu, MD, University of California, San Diego. Dale Lee, MD, MSCE, of Seattle Children’s Hospital is implementing a multicenter trial on novel dietary therapy using blenderized whole food for exclusive enteral nutrition in Crohn’s disease. “Our hope is that will expand dietary therapy options and better elucidate the mechanism of action of diet on active bowel inflammation,” said Dr. Lee.

The 2023 Innovator Award Grantees Include:

  • Ziad Al Nabhani, PhD, Universität Bern, and Bart Deplancke, PhD, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)
  • Andreas Baumler, PhD, and Jee-Yon Lee, MD, PhD, University of California, Davis
  • Lee Denson, MD; Michael Helmrath, MD; and James Wells, PhD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Eran Elinav, MD, PhD, German Cancer Research Center and Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Kate Fitzgerald, PhD, University of Massachusetts  
  • Wendy Garrett, MD, PhD, and Curtis Huttenhower, PhD, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Timothy Hand, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
  • Reinhard Hinterleitner, PhD, and Jishnu Das, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
  • Michael Kattah, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Dale Lee, MD, and David Suskind, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital; Lindsey Albenberg, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Anthony Otley, MD, Dalhousie University
  • Phillip Messersmith, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
  • James Murphy, PhD; Britt Christensen, PhD; Andre Samson, PhD; and Aysha Al-Ani, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Manuela Raffatellu, MD, University of California, San Diego
  • Jamie Spangler, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • Brigitta Stockinger, PhD, and James Lee, MD, PhD, Francis Crick Institute
  • Christoph Thaiss, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
  • Omer Yilmaz, MD, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and John LaCava, PhD, University Medical Center Groningen

Expanding on her funded project, Dr. Jamie Spangler of John Hopkins said that the Rainin Foundation grant “will empower us to design, develop and translate a new molecular therapeutic that will realize the potential for cytokine therapy in treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Learn more about this year’s Innovator Award grantees and their research.

Continued Support For Grantees

Researchers who demonstrate significant progress are eligible for up to two years of additional support. The Foundation granted continued support to 17 Innovator Award grantees from 2021 and 2022.

Ten grantees from 2022 received grants of $100,000 for a second year of support, including:

  • Adebowale (Wale) Bamidele, PhD, Mayo Clinic
  • Marcos Colonna, MD, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Greg Fairn, PhD, Dalhousie University
  • Chun-Jun Guo, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Ruaidhrí Jackson, PhD, Harvard University
  • Eric Martens, PhD, University of Michigan
  • David Montrose, PhD, Stony Brook University
  • Roni Nowarski, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Garth Swanson, MD, MS, Rush University Medical Center
  • Xu Zhou, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital

Seven grantees from 2021 received grants of $75,000 for a third year of support, including:

  • Gregory Barton, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
  • Isaac Chiu, PhD, Harvard University
  • Andrew Goodman, PhD, Yale School of Medicine
  • Carrie Lucas, PhD, Yale School of Medicine
  • Francesca Petralia, PhD, Mount Sinai
  • Eran Segal, PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Anna Katharina (Katja) Simon, PhD, University of Oxford

Explore the Rainin IBD website to learn more about the Rainin Foundation’s research grantees and funding areas, as well as its vision and strategy for solving IBD.