Crohn’s and Colitis Canada leads way to connect IBD research with patient care, improved outcomes

Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research launches vital, new expansion network

Hamilton, ON, March 31, 2016 – Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is proud to announce that its pioneering work to bridge pan-Canadian Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research with patient care is advancing. Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research’s (SPOR) proposal for the IMAGINE network launched today. As a founding partner, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has long been a supporter and influencer for this important, new enterprise.

IMAGINE will connect the gap between the lab and the doctor’s office. It aims to foster evidence-informed healthcare and bring it to the point of patient care. IMAGINE is otherwise known as the Inflammation, Microbiome, and Alimentation: Gastro-Intestinal and Neuropsychiatric Effects Network.

“Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s commitment to fundamental and clinical research in IBD over the years has built incredible scientific capacity and excellence,” says Mina Mawani, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are delighted that our support has positioned our IBD research community for success in securing greater government investment in gastrointestinal (GI) research, and that we will participate in this innovative network to ensure the research will lead to patient benefits and improved outcomes.”

This is an important day for the nearly 250,000 Canadians living with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and their families who are also touched by these diseases. 

“Canada has among the highest reported prevalence of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome in the world,” says Dr. Paul Moayyedi, IMAGINE’s lead researcher. “It is vital that we begin a process where we can integrate research from across the country into care. IMAGINE will bring together patient advocates, provincial health authorities, academic health centres, charities, and others who are dedicated to accomplishing this. Together we can imagine a day without the suffering of inflammatory bowel disease – and make it a reality.”

“Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s promise is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and improve the lives of people affected by these chronic diseases,” adds Mawani. “We will fulfill this promise by continuing our investment in research, patient programs and services, advocacy and awareness. Our support of IMAGINE is an important part of this arsenal.”

IMAGINE will focus on the affects of diet and microbiome on inflammatory bowel disease, other GI disorders and mental health. It will be led jointly by McMaster University’s Dr. Paul Moayyedi and the University of Calgary’s Dr. Bertus Eksteen. It will involve 17 centres across the country and 75 research/clinical collaborators.

IMAGINE was awarded $12.5M from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and also received $19M in partner contributions, for a total of $31.5M over five years. Partner contributors include universities, hospitals, health charities, provincial health research funding agencies, and industry. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is involved as a patient representative, knowledge user, and funding partner, contributing over $3M to this initiative over five years.

About Crohn's and Colitis Canada
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is the only national, volunteer-based charity focused on finding the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the lives of children and adults affected by these diseases. We are one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn’s and colitis research in the world, investing over $94 million in research to date. We are transforming the lives of people affected by Crohn’s and colitis (the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease) through research, patient programs, advocacy, and awareness. Our Crohn’s & Colitis – Make it stop. For life. Campaign will raise $100 million by 2020 to advance our mission.


Read the media release from CIHR here.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a representative of Crohn's and Colitis Canada, please contact:

Nic Canning
Account Manager
Smithcom Ltd.

Tyler Simpson
Marketing and Communications Coordiantor
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
416-920-5035 ext. 215

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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