Arun Sharma, PhD, from Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute recently received a $300,000 Catalyst Research Award from the highly selective and competitive Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust. This award provides one year of seed funding to help the recipient successfully compete for the Falk Medical Research Trust's $1 million Transformational Research Award.
Dr. Sharma's research project will test in an animal model a unique approach to treating ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. He has constructed a special type of nanomolecule with potent anti-inflammatory properties that can mitigate inflammation in the lower gastrointestinal tract. This approach yielded promising results in an animal model of Crohn's disease, another type of inflammatory bowel disease. His earlier research suggests that injections with these anti-inflammatory nanomolecules could be effective and carry minimal side effects, which would be an important advantage over currently available treatment options for adult and pediatric patients afflicted with ulcerative colitis.