“Our vision at the Helmsley Charitable Trust is to help improve lives and advance precision medicine for Crohn’s disease, and this project combines both of these ideals.”
Treating Crohn’s disease is a serious challenge. Patients and their gastroenterologists often struggle to manage the symptoms of this chronic inflammatory bowel disease because the debilitating flares of Crohn’s are impossible to predict or prevent.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust, whose philanthropic support focuses on health issues including Crohn’s, provided a $4 million grant to the Brigham for a research study aimed at enhancing understanding of the disease that could revolutionize treatment. Joshua Korzenik, MD, director of the hospital’s Crohn’s and Colitis Center and the Resnek Family Center for Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Research, is leading this first-of-its-kind pilot study to create a Crohn’s flare prediction formula to help patients and physicians manage the disease more effectively. The center’s team includes some of the most accomplished Crohn’s and colitis specialists, researchers, and educators in the world.
During the study, participants are using noninvasive, contactless monitoring technology in their homes for 12 to 15 months to track the body’s physiological functions and watch for the onset of flares. The data will help Korzenik and his team identify digital biomarkers associated with inflammation and disease activity that inform how to prevent flares, reduce the impact of the disease, and improve patients’ quality of life. In short, a system capable of detecting early signals of disease will enhance physicians’ capacity to intervene and provide treatment—filling a significant need for patients and caregivers.
“Our vision at the Helmsley Charitable Trust is to help improve lives and advance precision medicine for Crohn’s disease, and this project combines both of these ideals,” says Sandor Frankel, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “We’re honored to support brilliant, creative, and innovative minds that have the potential to make such a difference.”
About the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed nearly $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes.
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