Founded by the renowned philanthropist and economist Sanford J. Grossman, The Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust was recently awarded $3 million to establish the Dr. Sanford J. Grossman Center for Integrative Studies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The Center will be focused on creating personalized medicine to address treatment for Crohn’s disease, and to better understand and predict the disease progression.
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory chronic condition that affects the bowel, and was first described by the gastroenterologist Burrill B. Crohn working at Mount Sinai. It affects almost 700,000 Americans according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Over time, persistent inflammation often leads to bowel damage and digestive complications can occur: the intestine’s function can be compromised, resulting in reduced quality of life and higher need for surgical resection.
“Mount Sinai has a large and unique data set on patients: clinical symptoms and history, pathology reports on resected gut tissue, genomics and family history, and radiology. My hope is that the integration and analysis of this data will enable a better understanding of the manifestations and natural histories of Crohn’s Disease, and with that knowledge, therapies will be developed to beneficially alter the natural course of the disease. At the very least, I hope that there will be a better understanding of the biological processes that lead to various types of stricture formation, and some suggestions as to how strictures can be prevented,” said Grossman.
“As leaders in IBD research, we appreciate the Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust’s generous gift that will open a new area of investigation in Crohn’s disease and help to provide a completely innovative approach to studying this chronic illness,” added Mount Sinai Health System’s representatives.
The Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust has promised $1 million, with $2 million to be received once the Center has reached previously agreed upon milestones.
“There remains an enormous variability among patients as to who will develop conditions relating to IBD and their corresponding course of medical therapies. We are very grateful for Dr. Grossman’s donation, which will fund this unique, integrative team and catalyze new research that will help us to more precisely understand individual patients with Crohn’s disease and how to tailor therapies most effectively,” noted Dr. Cho.
“Dr. Grossman’s magnificent generosity will enable an ideal collaboration among some of the nation’s leading basic research scientists and clinician scientists in IBD, to distinguish different Crohn’s disease types to better understand the disease course and selection of personalized therapies. It is the ideal paradigm of translational research,” stated Asher Kornbluth from the Icahn School of Medicine.
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Biotechnology company Qu Biologics Inc. will initiate patient enrollment for two new clinical trials to evaluate a therapy for Crohn’s disease. The company is studying the use of its Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSIs), to restore the normal immune function of the body as a potential treatment for Crohn’s in two trials that will take place in Edmonton, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario, both in Canada.
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