Rick Maizels receives Kenneth Rainin Foundation 2012 Innovator Award

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation Announces $1,000,000 in Grants Awarded for Innovative IBD Research

Oakland, CA – The Kenneth Rainin Foundation (KRF) announced today the recipients of its 2012 Innovator Awards and its 2012 Breakthrough Awards for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research.

Director of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases, Prof Rick Maizels, alongside three other awardees, will receive a $100,000 Innovator Award grant to investigate the potential of parasite products to suppress IBD.

The 2012 Innovator Awards Program recipients are:

  • David Boone, Ph.D., University of Chicago, IL, for his research project entitled, “Gastric control of intestinal function.”
  • Gautam Dantas, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, for his research project entitled, “Synthetic engineering of enhanced fitness and adhesion properties in probiotics for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).”
  • Richard M. Maizels, Ph.D., Edinburgh University, UK, for his project entitled, “Potential of parasite products to suppress IBD.”
  • Samuel L. Miller, M.D., University of Washington, Seattle, WA, for his project entitled, “Development of a Fecal Microbiota Transplant Mouse Model for Ulcerative Colitis to Identify Pro-and Anti-inflammatory Bacteria.” 

About the Innovator Awards Program for IBD Research 

The goal of the Innovator Awards Program is to reach out to all scientific disciplines from any non-profit research institution worldwide as a means to attract innovative researchers and encourage integrative cooperation across all disciplines in an effort to accomplish the Foundation’s mission of no one suffering from IBD.  With the Innovator Awards Program now in its third year of funding, Averil Ma, Chair of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, said

“we are delighted with the increasingly high quality of applications this year and trust this trend will continue, as researchers become more familiar with the Innovator Award’s criteria.” 

The Program’s key components for funding consideration include innovation, collaboration, scientific merit and a high potential for success as well as funding projects that, due to their innovative nature, may not be eligible for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other more traditional sources. 

Details of the Foundation’s 2013 Innovator Awards Program will be announced in the fall of 2012. Please visit the Kenneth Rainin Foundation website for updates.

About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. The main forms of IBD are Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms include debilitating pain, bleeding and diarrhea. The causes of IBD are unknown but may include immune factors caused by genetic susceptibility as well as environmental factors including intestinal microbes. Current therapeutic options for patients are largely limited to non-specific anti-inflammatory agents, and anti-TNF agents. Surgical removal of the colon is the only cure for colitis at this time. There is currently no cure for Crohn’s Disease. Approximately five million people worldwide suffer from some form of IBD.

About the Foundation

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation that is dedicated to enhancing quality of life by promoting equitable access to a baseline of literacy, championing and sustaining the arts, and supporting research that will lead to relief for those with chronic disease. The Foundation focuses our efforts on the San Francisco Bay Area and specific medical issues. We utilize our networks, resources, and commitment to socially responsible practices to support innovation, collaboration and connection in the service of inspiring world-changing work.


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