• 40th Anniversary Research Fund

    With 4000 children diagnosed every year with IBD, there is an urgent need for more specialists and better treatments.

    100% of your support will fund research into crohns and colitis in childhood.

    You can support our fund on JustGiving or with direct donations, just reference #CICRA40

    In 1978, there were no specialists for children with crohns and colitis. Inflammatory bowel disease had been seen for many years in adults but at that time it was very rare for it to affect a child.

    A group of concerned parents of young children with Crohn’s resolved to act on the need for research to understand what was going on. With their perseverance, CICRA pushed for more specialists and our research programme was born. Much of the success of our research can be traced back to the early days and the laboratory we supported, that became a focal point for leading research into IBD.

    In the four decades that followed, our supporters have funded over £5million of research. The key to its success has been more than just the projects funded – which have included new treatments and research into incidence and prevalence – but the impact of getting brilliant scientific minds to specialise in paediatric gastroenterology. 25 fellows, 28 PhD studentships and over 50 projects have had a positive impact for thousands of children, young adults and their families because they have grown more paediatric IBD specialists, whose CICRA funded projects have been the start of whole careers helping children and young people with crohns and colitis.

    What makes our research special?

    • Our focus is children/paediatrics, a less commonly funded area for IBD research, where the condition is lifelong and impacts education, childhood happiness and future careers.
    • We help train paediatric gastroenterologists, so more children see a specialist.
    • It brings new knowledge and specific understanding of how IBD affects children.
    • The impact lasts as our researchers continue to work in paediatric gastroenterology.
    • Pharmaceutical companies and other research funders tend to focus on adults as that is where the largest number of people are, but this means a lack of attention on those whose disease can have a much bigger impact on their lives, striking when they are still growing and in education.

    What next?

    Our challenge today is to ensure every child can see a specialist. We need to continue to fund innovative scientific research so we can learn more about IBD in children. We need to continue to translate the research into practical advice that directly supports children and their families. We urgently need to reduce the burden of IBD on childhood, and ensure that every child with crohns and colitis gets the expert care that they need.

    Our research programme has been linked to some world famous hospitals, and had some of the best scientific minds researching better treatments with the hope of an eventual cure. But our proudest achievements are not the places or the people (awesome as they are, honoured as we are to have their insight and expertise). What matters most is what is achieved by the research our supporters fund, the difference it makes to children and families dealing with inflammatory bowel disease.

    Our research gives hope to children and families. If you want a world where children with crohns and colitis can lead fulfilling lives, help keep our ground-breaking research going.


    Ten ways CICRA research has made a difference

    1    Developing paediatric gastroenterology (childhood digestion and bowel) as a specialist medical area: in 1978 there were no paediatricians specialising in Crohn’s and Colitis in children so CICRA set up a Fellowship Scheme and this funding helped push the specialism to be recognised

    2    The first paediatric gastroenterology laboratory in the UK was set up by CICRA in 1982 at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. This facility is now world recognised for its excellence and has since expanded and moved to the new state of the art laboratories at the Royal London Hospital.

    3   Many of today’s leading doctors treating children and young people for IBD had their specialist training through our research schemes

    4   More children with Crohns and Colitis can now see an IBD specialist because the doctors we funded previously are training a new generation of doctors

    5   Continuing studies by three CICRA Fellows (1983 – 1996) led to enteral nutrition often being the first line of treatment for children

    6    New treatments being taken forward for clinical trials, such as the drug Mongersen, which followed early work by a CICRA funded project in Southampton investigating the role of Smad7

    7    Identifying an increase in the number of children and babies being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, through projects in Scotland and Southampton

    8    Spreading CICRA-funded expertise nationally and globally. Our bursary awards help researchers attend events like the world’s largest gastroenterology conference – Digestive Diseases Week

    9    Through CICRA funded PhD studentships, encouraging young talented scientists to follow a career path of researching Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    10   50 CICRA funded scientific projects have added a wealth of knowledge about Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including current projects on genetics, bacteria, diet, prevention, pharmaceutical options and psychological stress.

    How your donation helps

    £10 could pay for 2 weeks of nutrients to grow cells in the lab for research

    £15 could help fund research to improve IBD tests, taking us towards earlier and more accurate diagnosis

    £50 given by each of 10 people could pay for two days of a scientist to work in a laboratory, identifying targets for the development of new treatments for children with IBD

    £100 could help provide the tools for scientists to map 10,000 genes in minute detail