The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Granted $5.6 million by The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
NEW YORK, April 21, 2009 — The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $5,664,000 from The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The funds will support the Foundation’s Research Awards Programs over the next three years.
Chronic, unpredictable, and often excruciatingly painful, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are digestive diseases affecting over 1.4 million Americans. Since its inception just over four decades ago, CCFA has played a role in every major breakthrough in the field, funding research grants that lead to discoveries of lifesaving therapies and genetic advances.
“The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has defined the field of research into these intractable digestive diseases for nearly a half-century,” says Richard J. Geswell, President of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. “The award from The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will assist the Foundation in taking the highest-quality Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis research to the next level, bringing hope to countless lives.”
Through four decades of Foundation financial support, brilliant scientists have forged careers dedicated to eradicating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, enabling the discovery of many groundbreaking treatments and improving the quality of care for individuals with these conditions.
The Foundation offers awards to individuals seeking to develop careers in basic and/or clinical Crohn’s and colitis investigation. Through these awards, investigators are trained to become expert researchers in this field and often go onto receive senior awards from CCFA and the National Institutes of Heath.
“The funds the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation will receive through The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust grant will be critical in developing the careers of many more investigators,” says Lloyd Mayer, MD, National Scientific Advisory Committee Chair for the Foundation and Professor and Director of the Immunology Institute, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Divisions of Clinical Immunology and Gastroenterology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “In turn, the grant received will help to accelerate critical research to discover better therapies and ultimately a cure for these diseases afflicting so many Americans.”
About Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.