Past Grant Recipients 2018

Finding Causes and Triggers

A common question asked by patients and their caregivers is "What causes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis?" Unfortunately, the causes and triggers of these chronic diseases remain unknown.

With the support of grants from Crohn's and Colitis Canada, the researchers noted below are moving us closer to discovering the factors that lead to the onset of these diseases by researching environmental triggers, genetic markers, and more.

2018 Grant Recipients

Dr. Christophe Altier

Dr. Christophe Altier | University of Calgary
Research: Targeting spinal microglia in IBD pain
Date: 2018-2021
Amount: $375,000

Persistent abdominal pain is a common challenge for people living with IBD. While treatments are available, researchers still do not fully understand the underlying factors that contribute to the onset of persistent pain.

Through prior research, Dr. Altier discovered that spinals cells, known as microglia, communicate with cells in the gastrointestinal tract. Building on this discovery, Dr. Altier will research the make-up of this cellular communication in order to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the onset of persistent abdominal pain, and identify opportunities for new forms of treatment.

Dr Wallace MacNaughton

Dr. Wallace MacNaughton | University of Calgary
Research: Novel peptides to enhance mucosal healing
Date: 2018-2021
Amount: $375,000

Evidence shows that the lining of the intestine in people with IBD does not repair itself as effectively as it does in healthy people, and researchers do not know why. This lining is an important barrier and, when compromised, causes inflammation and significant pain and discomfort for people living with IBD.

Dr. MacNaughton and his team will use novel approaches to better understand the healing process. With this information, they will develop new therapies or adjuncts to current therapies to keep people living with IBD in remission.

  • 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.

Other Areas of Interest