UMass Medical School Awarded $1.7M for Crohn’s Disease Research

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, an NEC member, has been awarded a $1.7 million grant to develop a treatment for Crohn’s disease. The treatment, according to the university’s announcement, is nutrition-based and focuses on the prevalence of the illness in Puerto Rico.

The grant was awarded by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to healthcare research. The award will be used by Assistant Professor Ana Maldonado-Contreras to create a therapeutic diet tailored toward the food availability and preferences on the island. The project will also partner with El Centro para Enfermedades Inflamatorias del Intestino (the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease) at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan to create and test the nutrition program.

“We’re excited about this diet because the patient can take control of their own symptoms and perhaps prevent them, too.” Maldonado-Contreras said. “[C]lose to 20 percent of the population in the mainland U.S. is Latinx, so 20 percent of our population may also benefit from [the diet]. It’s a pioneering study that could serve as a blueprint for nutritional interventions to treat Crohn’s disease in other underserved populations.”

The New England Council congratulates UMass Medical School on receiving this grant and on the school’s commitment to finding sustainable ways to fight dangerous diseases.

Read more in the Worcester Business Journal or in UMass Med News

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