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GI Research Foundation Quickly Delivers Nearly $18.5 Million to Study Gastrointestinal Cancers

GI Research Foundation Quickly Delivers Nearly .5 Million to Study Gastrointestinal Cancers
CA CURE - its FY23 campaign - was the biggest in its 60-year history and will continue in the coming year.

The GI Research Foundation today announced that its CA CURE campaign drove the largest grantmaking year in its 60-year history. The campaign advances the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, and it awarded nearly $18.5 million in the fiscal year that will end on June 30. 

"This was an exceptional year for us, thanks to the generosity and passion of a Chicago-area family and others. We are honored at the confidence that they put in us, and we're thrilled to move such an incredible amount of support into the GI-cancer research community so quickly," said Jackie Casey, the GI Research Foundation's executive director.

The GI Research Foundation's Senior Scientific Advisor and Chief of the Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at UChicago Medicine Dr. David Rubin said: 

"We went from the idea phase to a very rapid but scientifically rigorous review process and then millions of grant dollars delivered to the GI cancer research community in less than six months. This combination of agility and quality science was driven by the urgent need of those who are suffering and reflects the commitment and ability of the GI Research Foundation Board and its scientific team of advisors."

Gastrointestinal cancers are the most common type of cancer, and hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are treated every year. One in three cancer deaths globally are the result of GI cancers.

Nine research projects at eight organizations were funded by the GI Research Foundation in FY23 as part of its CA CURE cancer initiative. They include the development of:

  • New cancer vaccines at Elicio Therapeutics and the University of Iowa.
  • Innovate and targeted therapy delivery methods at the University of Iowa.
  • Novel ways of optimizing and activating the immune system to fight cancer at Mayo Clinic.
  • Clinical trials of colorectal cancer treatments at the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center and Hoosier Cancer Research Network.
  • Liquid biopsy and blood sample diagnostic techniques at Weill Cornell Medicine, RareCyte, and Yale University Medicine.

Full descriptions of all the CA CURE projects, including brief video presentations, can be found at: https://giresearchfoundation.org/research-grants/ca-cure-main/.

2023 marks the first year that the GI Research Foundation has funded research outside the University of Chicago, its mission partner for decades. "Our partnership with the University of Chicago is unique in that we are able to build our grant programs to support its internal leadership, while simultaneously capitalizing on its multi-disciplinary approach to solving complex problems by bringing world-class leaders together from within and outside the University," said Ms. Casey.  

Researchers at the University of Chicago continued to receive grants from the GI Research Foundation in FY23 in areas like: developing stem cell treatments to address Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the role of nutrition in the health of the human microbiome, microbial indicators of Ulcerative Colitis, and possible links between IBD and depression and anxiety.

"CA CURE represents a special opportunity to acknowledge that medical research is a global effort and that impact is the GI Research Foundation's top priority. Because the University of Chicago is a powerhouse in GI and digestive health, funding investigators at the University of Chicago is and will continue to be central to our strategy. But we're pleased to make so many world-class researchers part of the GI Research Foundation's work through CA CURE. Like the University of Chicago, these are international leaders in the field, and we know their impact will be tremendous," said Dr. Rubin. 

The GI Research Foundation is extending its CA CURE campaign into FY24, and it will continue to support the study of the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure of digestive cancers, in the coming years.

"We've been given an opportunity to expand our impact into the area of GI cancers and to expand our reach to institutions across the country," Ms. Casey said. "It is not often that an organization with such a long and important history gets an opportunity like that, and we intend to make the most of it for our donors, our partners, and for people facing digestive disease around the world."

The GI Research Foundation was founded in 1961 by grateful patients and friends of the late Dr. Joseph B. Kirsner, a pioneer in gastroenterology who devoted his life to medicine, teaching, and patient care. Today, the University of Chicago Medicine's Digestive Diseases Center, which is supported by the foundation, is internationally recognized for research-driven medicine and its team of highly specialized physicians. The collaboration has brought millions of dollars in additional external support to the university and has led to discoveries and developments that improve clinical outcomes and people's lives. For more information, see: https://giresearchfoundation.org/

Contact Information:
Jackie Casey
Executive Director
[email protected]

Original Source: GI Research Foundation Quickly Delivers Nearly $18.5 Million to Study Gastrointestinal Cancers