The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, a family organization dedicated to the promotion of arts and child literacy, as well as to support research to find a cure for chronic diseases, recently granted $2.2 million to fund scientific projects working on Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). The foundation is focused on funding research projects that are not typically eligible for support from traditional sources for being ground-breaking or pioneer in their fields. The scientists awarded were chosen from a series of applicants, as they revealed capacity to provide breakthrough findings on the causes and cures for IBD.
The Synergy Awards, the most recent program supported by the foundation, will grant two teams of researchers $400,000. Herbert W. “Skip” Virgin, from Washington University at St. Louis, and Miles Parkes, from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, were awarded for their work on the novel function of viruses, which infect the bacteria present in the intestinal microbiome and IBD. "This is very exciting for us," said Skip Virgin. "It allows us to pursue an 'out-of-the-box' hypothesis of how viruses might be related to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis."
The other team awarded, comprised of Samuel Miller, from the <