OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced today that it has awarded $1.7 million in grants through its Synergy Awards program. Funding will support teams of researchers who are pursuing collaborative projects aimed at improving the prediction and prevention of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
"The Rainin Foundation focuses its grants on impacting patient lives, while still maintaining an eye toward discovery science," said Laura Wilson, PhD, Director of Health Strategy and Ventures for the Rainin Foundation. "We want to fund promising ideas from both the IBD research and unrelated fields that have the potential to lead to new patient treatments."
The Synergy Awards encourage investigators with differing areas of expertise to pool their talents and resources toward a research goal that would not be possible if they worked independently.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner across different disciplines at Stanford to pilot a precision approach to IBD therapeutics," said Sarah Streett, MD, Stanford University. "Our combined expertise in molecular imaging and clinical research, plus our focus on autoimmunity and inflammation positions us to advance our understanding of these diseases and move toward targeting treatments to the individual to optimize success."
The 2018 Synergy Awards will support the following research teams:
- Russell Vance, PhD, University of California, Berkeley; Karsten Gronert, PhD, University of California, Berkeley; and Jakob von Moltke, PhD, University of Washington, for The role of inflammasomes and tuft cells in eicosanoid release by intestinal epithelial cells, $300,000.
- David Padua, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles; and Karla Kirkegaard, PhD, Stanford University, for IFNG-AS1 (NEST) long noncoding RNA as a regulator of inflammation in IBD patients, $200,000.
- Stephan Rogalla, MD, Stanford University; Sarah Streett, MD, Stanford University; Garry Nolan, PhD, Stanford University; Aaron Mayer, MS, Stanford University, for Precision medicine to enable personalized therapy in IBD via biomarker analysis using CyTOF and multiplexed ion beam imaging, $300,000.
- John Chang, MD, University of California, San Diego; Gene Yeo, PhD, University of California, San Diego; William Sandborn, MD, University of California, San Diego, for Elucidating molecular heterogeneity and new therapeutic targets for IBD using an innovative single-cell sequencing approach, $200,000.
"As the field's understanding of IBD grows, the origins and manifestations of the disease are becoming increasingly complex," said Wilson. "The Rainin Foundation is optimistic about these new research projects and the ability of researchers to delve further into the various IBD phenotypes and levels of inflammation, as well as precision medicine."
This was the first year the Foundation provided continued funding to previous Synergy Award grantees who made significant progress in advancing their original research hypotheses, including:
- Aida Habtezion, MD, Stanford University; Sidhartha R. Sinha, MD, Stanford University; and Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, Stanford University, for Secondary bile acids modulate intestinal inflammation, $300,000.
- Iliyan D. Iliev, PhD, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Inga Peter, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Jean-Frédéric Colombel, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for The role of IBD in the fungal microbiota transmission from pregnant women to the offspring, $100,000.
- Gwendalyn Randolph, PhD, Washington University; Saurabh Mehandru, MD, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai; and Daniel Mucida, PhD, Rockefeller University, for Toward identifying the unique pathology that explains Ulcerative Colitis distribution, $300,000.
"As an early stage investigator, this type of funding opportunity is critical to me developing a successful scientific career," said David Padua, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles. "I am looking forward to collaborating with top notch researchers to combine our basic science and clinical translational research toward new discoveries in IBD."
In addition to grantmaking, the Rainin Foundation supports increasing connections and building networks to benefit the scientific community. The Foundation's seventh annual Innovations Symposium will take place July 16-17, 2018 in San Francisco. This event brings together scientific leaders, trainees, researchers and clinicians from around the world to encourage dialogue and advance the understanding of IBD.
This year's Innovations Symposium will focus on basic science and patient impact, and will feature speakers working both within and outside of IBD research, as well as Rainin Foundation grantees. The deadline for Travel Awards, Call for Abstracts and early-bird registration is March 30, 2018. For more information and to register, visit krfoundation.org/symposium.
About the Kenneth Rainin Foundation
Kenneth Rainin Foundation collaborates with creative thinkers in the Arts, Education and Health. At the Rainin Foundation, we believe in taking smart risks to achieve breakthroughs. We support visionary artists in the Bay Area, create opportunities for Oakland's youngest learners, and fund researchers on the forefront of scientific discoveries. Since 2010, the Foundation has awarded over $19 million for promising scientific research projects with the potential to impact treatment and prevention of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. See krfoundation.org/ibd for more info on our health funding strategies.
SOURCE The Kenneth Rainin Foundation