Helping Manage Symptoms

Living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis often means dealing with pain, weight loss, fatigue, anemia or diarrhea.

With the support of grants from Crohn's and Colitis Canada, the researchers noted below are conducting research projects that focus on developing a better understanding of these symptoms with the goal of discovering novel treatments that will reduce or even eliminate symptoms altogether.

2022 Grant Recipients

Dr. Eileen Crowley
Dr. Eileen Crowley | London Health Sciences Centre
Research: Understanding inflammatory arthritis among people living with IBD
Date: 2022-2025
Amount: $375,000
IBD is a systemic disease which can affect multiple organ systems. Up to 30% of people living with IBD may have inflammatory arthritis. However, there is little data published on the prevalence, use of health services, and complications for this sub-group to date.
Dr. Crowley and her team will be conducting the first Canadian population-based study to understand the prevalence of inflammatory arthritis in IBD patients, and the use of opioids and healthcare services among this sub-group. The outcomes of this study will help improve the quality of life and patient services for people affected by inflammatory arthritis and IBD.
Dr. Dana Philpott
Dr. Dana Philpott | University of Toronto
Research: Unravelling the link between Crohn’s Disease and Type-2 Diabetes
Date: 2022-2023
Amount: $50,000
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition that causes complications in other parts of the body outside the gut. Recent research has shown that Crohn’s disease patients have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. However, the mechanism that causes Crohn’s disease patients to develop type-2 diabetes is not well understood. Preliminary studies have shown that a compromised gut lining and an imbalance of microbes may be a contributing factor for both conditions.
Dr. Philpott plans to further investigate the interplay between the causes of Crohn’s disease and type-2 diabetes in order to improve care in the future for IBD patients with complications.

2021 Grant Recipients

Dr. Amanda Ricciuto

Dr. Amanda Ricciuto | The Hospital for Sick Children
Research: Ascertaining population-based long-term outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis
Date: 2021-2024
Amount: $375,000

Up to 8% of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). PSC causes inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts. Patients with IBD and PSC (PSC-IBD) are at high risk of end-stage liver disease, colon cancer, and bile duct cancer. PSC is a leading cause of death in IBD populations. Research about IBD complicated by PSC has been limited so far.

Dr. Ricciuto’s study aims to examine the long-term health outcomes (cancer, intestinal surgery, liver transplant, and death) and health services utilization (hospitalization, emergency department visits, colonoscopy, and imaging) in patients with PSC-IBD complications in order to inform resource allocation and risk stratification initiatives that include patient counselling.

To learn more about Dr. Ricciuto's research, watch the video below.

2019 Grant Recipients

Dr. Sara Ahola Kohut

Dr. Sara Ahola Kohut | Hospital for Sick Children
Research: Investigating a new online support and training program for parents of children with IBD
Date: 2019-2020
Amount: $50,000

To support quality of life for children living with IBD, we must support essential members of their health-care teams: their parents. In this project, researchers will determine how well iACT-P – a new online Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) workshop series – can realistically help parents toward this end.

iACT-P features three 90-minute sessions that explore ACT, which is an emerging evidence-based approach to parenting children living with chronic illness. Here, parents will learn how to achieve self-care while managing their child’s IBD symptoms, medication, and diet in an online environment that is ideal for psychosocial programs. In these workshops, parents can meet others and share lived experiences, making it easier for them to talk about coping with a child’s unpredictable, difficult symptoms.

In pediatric health, parents are an often overlooked but vital component of their child’s care and advocacy teams. Most support systems in place are designed to focus on the young patients. This innovative study will determine the impact of these workshops on parents, if they are realistic and helpful, and if they make tangible differences in parents’ level of stress, values-based behaviour, and acceptance of their child’s struggles.

2018 Grant Recipients

Dr. Charles Bernstein

Dr. Charles Bernstein | University of Manitoba
Research: Brain imaging in depression, anxiety, and fatigue in IBD 
Date: 2018-2021
Amount: $375,000

Dr. Bernstein’s research seeks to expand our understanding of the relationship and interactions between the brain and gut. Researchers know people living with IBD experience higher rates of depression and anxiety disorders compared to the general population. Yet, they do not fully understand how these mental health issues impact a patient’s symptoms. Using novel brain scanning techniques, Dr. Bernstein hopes to use this new information to improve how IBD is treated.

Dr Prevost Jantchou

Dr. Prévost Jantchou | CHU Sainte-Justine
Research: Vitamin D for prevention of Crohn’s disease relapses in children
Date: 2018-2021
Amount: $375,000

Dr. Jantchou believes his research can help reduce the potential for relapse, improve care, and ultimately enhance the overall quality of life for children living with Crohn’s disease. Given the higher prevalence of Crohn’s disease in northern countries, his research will examine the environmental factors that may be at play for Crohn’s disease patients. Dr. Jantchou will compare the effect of a high dose of vitamin D with a standard dose as an adjunct therapy for Crohn’s disease.


To learn about the completed research projects that we have supported, click here.

  • 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