Research We Fund

It is estimated that 70 million people are affected by all digestive diseases. Since 1961, the GI Research Foundation has pursued a mission – raise funds to help prevent, treat, and cure digestive diseases at the University of Chicago Medicine as well as to improve the quality of life for patients all over the world. For more than half a century, the GI Research Foundation has been faithful to and successful in addressing this goal. Our support has helped the Digestive Diseases Center at the University of Chicago Medicine to deliver its outstanding brand of personalized patient care and perform cutting edge basic, translational and clinical research.

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Our Commitment to Research

GI Research Foundation has a “front row seat” to the research which is changing patient care for the better. Some of the examples of the Digestive Diseases Center’s achievements that we can directly attribute to GI Research Foundation include:

  • Discovery of the first gene associated with Crohn’s disease (NOD2)
  • Discovery of a new type of “deep remission” in IBD that may allow some patients to stop therapy
  • Funding a groundbreaking study to discover the cause of ulcerative colitis
  • Performance of the first living donor liver transplant from parent to child
  • Discovery of the immune factors related to celiac disease, and development of the first animal model of celiac disease
  • Established international clinical trials which led to a cure for Hepatitis C
  • Pioneers in the development of home Parenteral Nutrition and management of short bowel/intestinal failure

Our Funding Mission

The GI Research Foundation supports research in three tracks: translational and clinical research grants, infrastructure investment, and career development. In addition, we sponsor educational programs throughout the year for patients, families, and caregivers.

clinical-translational-research-grants-icon1Clinical and Translational Research Grants:
The GI Research Foundation provided critical early funding to support novel and innovative pilot studies. Awarded to senior faculty, residents, fellows and young investigators to begin or continue their research, and these grants can be leveraged to pursue additional research funding

investment-high-technology-facilities-icon1Investment in high-technology facilities:
The result of the several capital campaigns is a unique physical and technological infrastructure which enables the University of Chicago Medicine’s scientists to elucidate the causes of digestive diseases, identify potential cures, and swiftly translate these discoveries into groundbreaking patient treatments.

career-development-icon1Career Development:
Created to support future research leaders who will keep the field of digestive diseases research vibrant with new ideas. In addition, the GI Research Foundation funding assists with the recruitment of a world-class leaders in digestive diseases to advance clinical trials and complement the already robust laboratory research activities at the University of Chicago Medicine.

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What We Fund

There are two independent GI Research Foundation boards that collaborate to raise both funding and awareness. In addition to being the governing body, the Board of Directors raise funds through capital campaigns and events such as the GI Research Ball. The Associates Board consists of young professionals who have raised funds to support ongoing research by investigators who are in the early stages of their career.

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