Current Research Studies
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America supports several major ongoing research initiatives and clinical studies to encourage cooperative efforts among investigators, research centers, and other resources.
Explore the initiatives below to learn more about the broad range of IBD research studies supported by CCFA and how you can become more involved in this important work.
Broad Medical Research Program at The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (BMRP@CCFA)
Because the causes of IBD are unknown and no therapies consistently effective, the BMRP@CCFA's mission is to foster the creativity of scientists in all disciplines and ignite novel ideas in IBD research. By supporting original, exploratory ideas and choosing to not prescribe an investigational direction or specific areas of research, the BMRP aims to come to a better understanding of the etiology, management, therapies, prevention, and eventual cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Learn more about this program.
CCFA partnered with the Center for Genome Sciences at Washington University to develop greater understanding of the role of gut microbes (bacteria, viruses, etc. that are found normally in the intestines) in digestive health and inflammatory bowel diseases. Using the latest generation of massively parallel DNA sequencers and sophisticated computational methods, the initiative studies the complex role that intestinal microbial communities play in digestive health and disease.
The Genetics Initiative continues the work of several recent studies that have demonstrated how specific organisms in the gut can cause inflammatory bowel diseases in the presence of specific genes, and that specific genes only cause disease in the presence of specific organisms. The Genetics Initiative is a collaborative effort to better understand the genes and their functions, and the chain of biological events that result in IBD (the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases).
Pediatric Risk Stratification Study
The Pediatric Risk Stratification Initiative is working to “crack the code” of disease prognosis by identifying measurable risk factors for the complications of severe disease. CCFA’s Professional KIIDS Pediatric Network is committed to identifying the genetic, microbiological, and immunological factors that are predictive of more severe disease. The resulting knowledge will translate into new protocols for individualized approaches to treating inflammatory bowel diseases in children and the prevention of severe disease and its lifelong consequences.
CCFA Partners is a comprehensive Internet-based registry designed to study thousands of patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis under a single research initiative. Unlike prior research, which has typically been conducted in small studies at major medical centers, CCFA Partners tracks the individual experience of more than 14,000 patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel diseases through three- and six-month reporting updates conducted online.
CCFA Clinical Research Alliance
The Clinical Research Alliance is a network of major medical centers and smaller, local facilities collaborating on clinical studies of the management and treatment of IBD. Members include hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and research facilities that have developed an IBD-related research program administered by a principal investigator.
Autoimmune Diseases in Pregnancy Study
The Autoimmune Diseases in Pregnancy Study is being conducted by the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) and is coordinated by the University of California, San Diegoto learn about effects Crohn's disease and other autoimmune diseases have on the outcome of pregnancies.
Pregnancy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Neonatal Outcomes: A National Prospective Registry
The PIANO study (Pregnancy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Neonatal Outcomes) was initiated in August 2007 and has enrolled over four hundred patients across the United States. The objective of the registry is to determine whether there is a higher rate of adverse events in a prospective national sample of women from the US with IBD who are being treated with azathioprine/6MP or anti-TNF biologic drugs (infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab). Thirty member sites of the CCFA Clinical Alliance identified and followed a prospective cohort of pregnant women with IBD. Data were collected each trimester of pregnancy at delivery and every four months in the first year of the child's life.