Formerly known as the Broad Medical Research Program, the initiative was renamed to honor Leonard Litwin, a pioneer supporter of IBD research in New York who died last April at the age of 102.
Litwin IBD Pioneers aims to support researchers who pursue all possible opportunities for therapeutic targets, including novel, out-of-the-box ideas. The international program is open to scientists and investigators from other disciplines new to the IBD field, in an effort to promote interdisciplinary research.
“In order to make strides toward finding IBD cures, we must fund the highest quality innovative research possible,” Michael Osso, president and CEO of the New York-based Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, said in a press release. “We are so grateful to the Litwin family for their most generous gift that will allow us to continue supporting novel research projects from a variety of disciplines around the globe. Litwin IBD Pioneers will help bring us closer to realizing our vision of a future free of Crohn’s and colitis.”
Litwin, a real-estate developer, specialized in residential construction. His firm, Glenwood Management, currently operates 24 buildings in Manhattan and rents about 4,200 high-end units.
Litwin was also famous for his philanthropy and political action. He operated Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries in Melville, New York, and co-founded the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease together with fellow developer Don Zucker, at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York.
Additionally, Litwin established the Litwin Foundation, a nonprofit that funds disease research organizations, children’s services, human services, education and the environment.
“When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, my grandfather Leonard did not hesitate in funding research seeking to better understand IBD,” said Howard Swarzman. “My family is thrilled to honor his legacy by supporting the innovative research that is being conducted in the IBD field to find better treatments and cures for these debilitating digestive diseases.”