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News Release

CountryDateRelease Date

United States

24 Oct 2002


PARA's efforts benefit Crohn's sufferers - NIH allocates $1.8 million to study infectious cause of Crohn's

Bethesda, MD - At a meeting on June 17, 2002, Dr. Dennis Lang and Dr. Clare Schmitt of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH) informed Cheryl Miller, Co-Executive Director of PARA, that NIH was funding studies researching an infectious cause of Crohn's disease.

Dr. Dennis Lang of NIAID
and Cheryl Miller of PARA
Dennis Lang and Cheryl Miller

A December 1998 NIAID workshop, in which PARA played a significant role, resulted in research proposals being submitted to NIH, and subsequently to the funding of six of those proposals in the amount of $1,874,393 for the first year of work. The research is largely directed toward aspects of the relationship between Crohn's disease and the organism Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). In addition, two of the awards will apply molecular techniques to the identification of the types of organisms associated with diseased tissue and comparable tissue from controls. The intention of this research is to look broadly at the possible microbial species that may be associated with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.

Dr. Lang stated that Dr. Clare Schmitt had been added to the staff to assist in overseeing the grant research.

Cheryl Miller commented, "NIH has moved to provide significant funding to research an infectious cause of Crohn's disease. We are very optimistic that this research will be of great benefit to Crohn's sufferers, and we look forward to breakthroughs that will ultimately lead to a cure."

Dr. Lang offered strong encouragement for researchers wishing to study an infectious cause of Crohn's disease. "Those scientists not funded this time around should revise and resubmit," Dr. Lang said. He indicated that Crohn's disease research remains high priority and that new applications would be welcome.

These are the studies recently funded based upon the RFA resulting from NIAID's December 1998 Workshop on an infectious cause of Crohn's disease:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  1. Julia Inamine, R01 A151283-01, "Molecular definition of Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis," Colorado State University, $313,753

  2. Saleh Naser, R01 A151251-01, "Mycobacterium avium subspecies in Crohn's Disease," University of Central Florida, $317,800

  3. Andrew Neish, R01 A151282-01A, "Epithelial responses to enteric organisms," Emory University, $362,840

  4. Norman Pace, R01 A151298-01, "Molecular analysis of microbes in chronic bowel diseases," University of Colorado, $335,250

  5. David Relman, R01 A151259-01, "Crohn's disease - microflora analysis and immune response," Stanford University, $319,000

National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  1. Fouad El-Zaatari, RO1 DK063092, "The role of Mycobacteria in Crohn's disease," Baylor College of Medicine, $225,750

For further information contact

ContactKaren Meyer and Cheryl Miller
Co-Executive Directors, Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
Click here to E-mail Karen Meyer --or-- Cheryl Miller

Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.

is a non-profit organization of Crohn's disease patients, their families and friends who are dedicated to the following goals:
  1. To raise awareness of the zoonotic (disease-causing) potential of the bacterium, MAP, in the national community of sufferers of Crohn's disease, in medical, veterinary and food science research communities, in governmental agencies and in the public in general
  2. To urge governmental agencies to directly address control and eventual eradication of MAP from the human environment, particularly from foods of animal origin
  3. To urge governmental and medical research agencies to make funding available for research which will determine the role played by MAP in causing Crohn's disease

Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
Box 16219
Temple Terrace, FL 33687-6219

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