Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation Announces 2013 Innovator Awards Program $100,000 Grants For Transformative IBD Research Projects

December 13, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced today its 2013 Innovator Awards Program for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The Program supports “out-of-the-box” innovative research projects that are potentially transformative to the Foundation’s efforts to diagnose, treat and/or cure IBD. The Program is open to tenure track professors (or the equivalent) at all levels from any scientific discipline and from any non-profit research institutions worldwide. Interdisciplinary collaboration is strongly encouraged.

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation has funded over $3 million dollars in IBD research grants since 2006, supporting 17 research grants at some of the finest institutions in the world. These research initiatives bring the Foundation closer to achieving its mission, to find a cure for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease for the more than 4 million people worldwide currently afflicted with IBD and to eliminate suffering caused by these devastating diseases.

The Program’s key components for funding consideration include innovation, strong collaboration, scientific merit and a high potential for success as well as projects that, due to their innovative nature, may not be eligible for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other more traditional sources.

About the Innovator Awards Program for IBD Research

The Innovator Awards are $100,000 for one year for proof of principle research. Existing KRF-funded Innovator Award recipients who have demonstrated significant research progress are eligible for longer term support through the KRF Breakthrough Awards Program. KRF Innovator Awardees are evaluated for potential Breakthrough Awards at the end of their initial year of funding at the KRF’s Annual Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting.

Applying for an Innovator Award is a two-step process. First, all applicants must submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). LOIs will be accepted online January 15 – February 15, 2013. The one-page LOI must include the basic idea and the central experiment. Second, the Foundation’s SAB will determine which applicants will be invited to submit a full application. If selected, applicants will be invited to submit a full grant application. Applicant selection will primarily be based on the project’s close alignment with the Innovator Awards Program’s criteria. Full applications, consisting of up to three pages including an expanded LOI, two pages of science and a budget, will be due by May 1(st), 2013.

For more details and to submit your LOI starting January 15, 2013, please visit http://krfoundation.org/grants/health/

About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are chronic inflammatory disorders that lead to long-term and sometimes irreversible impairment of the gastrointestinal tract. The main symptoms are abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and malnutrition. Current therapeutic options involve the use of relatively non-specific, anti-inflammatory agents. There is currently no cure for these diseases.

Although the etiology of IBD is poorly defined, there is increasing awareness that IBD develops, at least in part, as a result of a failure to maintain normal host-microbial interactions and mucosal immune homeostasis. Many environmental factors can contribute to the development and severity of IBD, including nutrition, stress, lifestyle and the composition of intestinal microbiota. Perturbed interactions of these environmental factors with host cells may underlie chronic inflammation in the intestine in IBD.

“This is a very exciting time in the field of IBD research. Recent advances in the fields of immunology, cell biology, genetics, and microbiology have identified fundamental pathophysiologic mechanisms that may contribute to IBD and potentially hold the keys for understanding and finding cures for these debilitating diseases. We look forward to awarding a new group of Innovator Awards in 2013 that will bring creative expertises and pioneering approaches to this challenging problem. These fresh insights may lead to transformative advances in the KRF’s mission to cure these diseases,” says Dr. Averil Ma, Chair of the Foundation’s SAB.

About the Foundation

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation (www.KRFoundation.org) is a private family foundation that is dedicated to enhancing quality of life by promoting equitable access to a baseline of literacy, championing and sustaining the arts, and supporting research that will lead to relief for those with chronic disease.

The SAB members are Averil Ma, M.D., Chair of the SAB and Kenneth Rainin Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Director, Colitis and Crohn’s Disease Center, UCSF; Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., Chief, Mucosal Immunology Section, LPD, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease, NIH; B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D., Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, The University of British Columbia; Claudio Fiocchi, M.D., The Clifford and Jane Anthony Chair for Digestive Disease Research and Education, Department of Pathobiology, Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic; Ruslan Medzhitov, Ph.D., David W. Wallace Professor of Immunobiology, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine.

SOURCE The Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Source: PR Newswire