CCA IBD Scholarship

The Crohn’s & Colitis Australia IBD PhD Scholarship makes a provision of $25,000 per annum for up to (3) years full-time supporting CCA’s strategic priority of building inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research capacity in Australia whilst we search for a cause or cure for IBD.

The award is designed for candidates at an early stage in their careers, for example (but not confined to) graduates in any health care discipline or science who are seeking to pursue doctoral studies.

2022 Scholarships awarded

A very strong field of 15 candidates applied for two $75,000 CCA IBD PhD Scholarships, offered over 3 years.

CCA congratulates the two successful candidates:

  • Jessica Fitzpatrick
    A dietitian from Monash University and Alfred Health for her study ‘The role of a low emulsifier diet in treating Crohn’s disease’.
    Dietary emulsifiers are a category of food additives that are found readily available in the food supply. In animal models, emulsifiers cause inflammation in the gut, similar to that seen in Crohn’s disease. This project aims at investigating if removing emulsifiers from the diet of people with Crohn’s disease induces disease remission.
  • Dr Ralley Prentice:
    From Monash University/Monash Health/Hudson Institute of Medical Research/St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne will undertake the Pregnancy in Crohn’s and Colitis: Observations, Levels and Outcomes Extension study.
    Also known as the PICCOLO-X study, it is a multicentre study with observational and scientific aims. It is investigating how to accurately predict IBD activity in pregnancy and subsequently any changes to the foetal/neonatal immune system and brain development. The study will define how thiopurine metabolite, vedolizumab and ustekinumab levels vary through pregnancy, how much drug crosses the placenta, how quickly the baby clears the drug and finally, how this may affect the immune system of both mum and baby.

2021 Scholarship awarded

CCA is delighted to announce that Dr Aysha Al-Ani has been awarded the CCA Inflammatory Bowel Disease PhD Scholarship for her project: Novel Biomarkers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dr Al-Ani is a gastroenterologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is completing her PhD candidature through the University of Melbourne. The three-year, $75,000 scholarship is funded by an anonymous philanthropist who has generously supported CCA for this research.

The Study
A paradigm shift in IBD management means a greater focus on disease modification through objective assessment of disease activity and selection of the most optimal medical therapy. Predictors of response to the current arsenal of treatment are paramount to achieve endoscopic and histologic healing, reduce disease complications including hospitalisations and surgeries, and improve patient outcomes.