2015 Grants & Awards


Dr. Jean-Eric Ghia

(Co-investigators: Drs. Charles Bernstein, Abdelilah Soussi-Gounni)

University of Manitoba

Using IBD patient biopsies and animal models, Dr. Ghia will study the role of Semaphorin, a secreted protein involved in COPD and arthritis, in regulating intestinal inflammation.



Dr. Stephen Girardin

University of Toronto

Dr. Girardin will study the impact of the most common genetic mutation in IBD, NOD2, on the function of the small intestine, using a unique animal model and also organoids (“mini-guts” derived from human gut cells).



Dr. Nicola Jones

(Co-investigators: Drs. Dana Philpott, Anne Griffiths)

Sick Kids

Dr. Jones will study how vitamin D may influence IBD, by using animal models and novel intestinal mini-guts, called organoids, which mimic the normal intestine.



Dr. Alan Lomax

Queen's University

Dr. Lomax will examine how IBD affects the nervous system by studying how the bacteria in the gut and chemicals released during inflammation can impact gut neurons and ultimately devise new ways to block the neuronal changes that contribute to pain and diarrhea.



Dr. Derek McKay

University of Calgary

Dr. McKay will investigate the use autologous transplantation using cells with anti-inflammatory benefits as a personalized approach to treating IBD.



Dr. Michael Surette

(Co-investigators: Drs. Paul Moayeddi, Walter Reinsch, Christine Lee)

McMaster University

Dr. Surette is trying to determine the mechanisms by which fecal transplantation works by identifying all the microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and viruses) present in UC patients before and after treatment. The goal is to make fecal transplantation more effective and accessible with fewer potential risks.



Dr. Eytan Wine

(Co-investigators: Drs. Leo Dieleman, Jens Walter, Gane Wong)

University of Alberta

Dr. Wine will be using new technologies to locate and ‘trap’ bacteria that are recognized by the patients' own immune system and likely lead to disease. The results of this research will provide new markers that could be used to help diagnose children (and later adults) with IBD and possibly to even find new treatments.


Co-funded with CCFA


Dr. Pere Santamaria

University of Calgary

IBD is the result of a dysregulated immune response to gut bacteria. Dr. Santamaria has discovered that regulatory white blood cells targeting proteins expressed by gut bacteria can reset this balance and protect mice from colitis. This proposal will test whether the expansion of gut bacteria-specific regulatory white blood cells by treating mice with IBD-specific nanomedicines will blunt the progression of IBD, as a step towards developing a therapeutic nanomedicine for humans.



Dr. Deanna Gibson

University of British Columbia (Okanagan)

The use of probiotic bacteria is a promising IBD therapy, however clinical trials demonstrating its effectiveness have been inconsistent. Dr. Gibson is looking at ways of improving probiotic therapy by enhancing the probiotic’s ability to adhere to the gut and grow better in the inflamed gut of an IBD patient.



  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 150 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