Search
What are you looking for?
Start main content

Press Releases

Press Releases

https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cu-medicine-receives-usd-2-million-from-the-helmsley-charitable-trust-to-partner-with-university-of-calgary-to-create-a-global-repository-on-the-epidemiology-of-crohn-s-disease
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cu-medicine-receives-usd-2-million-from-the-helmsley-charitable-trust-to-partner-with-university-of-calgary-to-create-a-global-repository-on-the-epidemiology-of-crohn-s-disease

CU Medicine Receives USD 2 Million from The Helmsley Charitable Trust to Partner with University of Calgary to Create a Global Repository on the Epidemiology of Crohn's Disease

The Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) received a USD 2 million grant (equivalent to approximately HKD 15.5 million) from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (The Helmsley Charitable Trust) in New York to define the global burden of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to identify environmental risk factors accounting for the global rise of IBD. Global IBD Visualization of Epidemiology Studies (GIVES) in the 21st Century (GIVES-21) is a cross-boundary collaborative research project among CU Medicine, The University of Calgary, and 29 newly industrialized countries.

 

CU Medicine is the first research institute in Asia to be supported by The Helmsley Charitable Trust and this is the third research grant awarded to it by Helmsley. In recent years, CU Medicine researchers have worked tirelessly to understand the pathogenesis of IBD. Their recent studies have highlighted the potential for bacteria associated with IBD and the intake of food additives to trigger bowel inflammation. These findings offer hope for the development of new treatments to promote patient recovery and remission.

 

GIVES-21 study on IBD

CU Medicine received a HKD 16 million grant from The Helmsley Charitable Trust in New York to launch the Global Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Visualization of Epidemiology Studies in the 21st Century (GIVES-21). Recent studies of the team have highlighted the potential for bacteria associated with IBD and the intake of food additives to trigger bowel inflammation. These findings offer hope for the development of new treatments to promote patient recovery and remission.

(From left) Professor Siew Ng and Dr. Joyce Mak from the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at CU Medicine.

 

The GIVES-21 collaboration aims to identify environmental risk factors associated with IBD development in 29 newly industrialized countries around the world

 

Professor Siew Chien Ng, Professor of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at CU Medicine, said, “We are tremendously grateful to the generous support from The Helmsley Charitable Trust. With the rapidly rising incidence of Crohn’s disease (a major sub-type of IBD) in our society, there is a pressing need to define the disease burden and identify causative factors of the disease and to develop new therapies for patients.  The bacteria in our gut are likely to be critical to disease development. Understanding the mechanisms underlying Crohn’s disease pathogenesis will enable us to develop optimal bacterial modification therapies and bring us closer to finding cures for Crohn’s disease.”

 

Experts from CU Medicine and The University of Calgary will aim to define the epidemiology of and identify environmental risk factors associated with IBD development in 29 newly industrialized countries in Asia, South America, and Africa. For the first time, an interactive online map will be set up for visualising the disease patterns and evolution of IBD across the globe.

 

“The Helmsley Charitable Trust is committed to supporting research that increases our understanding of Crohn’s disease and, ultimately, the ability to prevent or cure the disease,” said Dr. Shefali Soni, Program Officer at The Helmsley Charitable Trust.  “CU Medicine is a leader in IBD research, and we anticipate that the open access epidemiologic data repository created through the GIVES-21 collaboration will enable breakthrough findings, advancing what we know about the causes of Crohn’s disease and how we might prevent it.”

 

Dr. Joyce Wing Yan Mak, Assistant Professor of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at CU Medicine, added, “The goal of the collaboration is to drive down the incidence of IBD by eliminating the risk factors. We hope our findings will serve as guidance for governments around the world to innovate their current healthcare delivery systems to address the threat from the increasing incidence of IBD.”

 

Professor Siew Ng

Prof. Siew Ng states that Crohn’s disease patients have higher level of Proteus mirabilis in their gut which can lead to dysbiosis. This upsets the immune system of the patients and results in bowel inflammation. This finding provides the team more clues to prevent the disease onset or its recurrence. 

 

 

Dr Joyce Mak

Dr. Joyce Mak remarks the GIVES-21 project is a cross-boundary collaborative research project among CU Medicine, The University of Calgary, and 29 newly industrialized countries and regions. The goal of the collaboration is to eliminate the risk factors and to serve as guidance for governments around the world to address the threat from the increasing incidence of IBD. 

 

CU Medicine identifies specific gut microbiota changes associated with IBD

 

Crohn’s disease is a life-long disabling condition of the gut that is often diagnosed in childhood or early adult life. It is becoming increasingly common worldwide and is believed to be predisposed by abnormal microbes’ colonisation.

 

Gut microbiota are one of the important factors in IBD development. Changes in the composition of the intestinal bacterial community and reduced microbial richness and diversity have been observed in patients with Crohn’s disease. With prior support from The Helmsley Charitable Trust, researchers from CU Medicine and their collaborators discovered a key bacterium associated with Crohn’s disease which induced dysbiosis and bowel inflammation as part of the Eastern Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gut Microbiota (ENIGMA) studies. This has created a unique opportunity for manipulation of the gut microbiota for potential prevention and therapies in Crohn’s disease.

 

Professor Ng added, “Another recent finding in the ENIGMA project, also supported by The Helmsley Charitable Trust, has demonstrated that Crohn’s disease patients were more likely to have consumed ultra-processed food in early life in comparison to healthy adults. This indicates a likely trigger for disease initiation. Higher recent and current food additive intake in patients is likely to affect the gut microbiota in an unfavourable way and serve as a driver of ongoing inflammation. This provides us more clues to prevent the onset of the disease or its recurrence.”

 

The GIVES-21 project will have a long-lasting impact by synthesizing the current knowledge of the burden of Crohn’s disease and projecting the future global burden. “We will aim to develop a worldwide network of IBD experts and enable epidemiological research in regions with a sparsity of data. The generous support from The Helmsley Charitable Trust provides us a unique opportunity to understand and realize new ways to translate epidemiologic data and microbiome risk factors with real impact for our communities challenged by this debilitating disease,” concluded Professor Ng.       

 

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

 

The Leona M. and Harry B. 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 its active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2.6 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Crohn’s Disease Program supports impactful ideas and mobilizes a global community committed to improving the lives of Crohn’s disease patients while pursuing a cure. For more information, please visit helmsleytrust.org.

More Press Releases

CUHK conducts interdisciplinary study on gut microbiota in pregnancy to reduce risk of inflammatory bowel disease in babies

CUHK conducts interdisciplinary study on gut microbiota in pregnancy to reduce risk of inflammatory bowel disease in babies

Research
CU Medicine Study Shows Modulation of Gut Microbiota  Helps Enhance Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccine

CU Medicine Study Shows Modulation of Gut Microbiota Helps Enhance Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccine

Research
CU Medicine Finds New Evidence for Link between Gut Microbiome and COVID-19 Severity Microbiome Imbalance Might Influence “Long COVID” Risk

CU Medicine Finds New Evidence for Link between Gut Microbiome and COVID-19 Severity Microbiome Imbalance Might Influence “Long COVID” Risk

Research
40% of Hong Kong People Show Gut Dysbiosis Comparable to that of COVID-19 Patients CUHK Microbiome Immunity Formula Hastens Recovery of COVID-19 Patients and Offers Hope to Boost Immunity

40% of Hong Kong People Show Gut Dysbiosis Comparable to that of COVID-19 Patients CUHK Microbiome Immunity Formula Hastens Recovery of COVID-19 Patients and Offers Hope to Boost Immunity

Research
The Helmsley Charitable Trust Funds Asian Research into Babies’ Gut Microbiota and Crohn’s Disease

The Helmsley Charitable Trust Funds Asian Research into Babies’ Gut Microbiota and Crohn’s Disease

Research
CUHK Announces World’s First Systematic Review of the Global Incidence and Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in the 21st Century Reveals Surge in Hong Kong in past 30 years

CUHK Announces World’s First Systematic Review of the Global Incidence and Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in the 21st Century Reveals Surge in Hong Kong in past 30 years

Research
CUHK Collaborates with Australian Experts to Untangle Mystery of Eastern Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gut Microbiota

CUHK Collaborates with Australian Experts to Untangle Mystery of Eastern Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gut Microbiota

Research
A randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial by CU Medicine shows that modulation of gut microbiome using oral microencapsulated live bacteria (SIM01) improves long COVID symptoms

A randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial by CU Medicine shows that modulation of gut microbiome using oral microencapsulated live bacteria (SIM01) improves long COVID symptoms

Research
CUHK Develops a Novel Faecal Test that can Detect Polyps and Early Colon Cancers  with Sensitivity Over 90%

CUHK Develops a Novel Faecal Test that can Detect Polyps and Early Colon Cancers with Sensitivity Over 90%

Research
CU Medicine Develops a Probiotic Formula to Target Imbalance in Gut Microbiota in COVID-19

CU Medicine Develops a Probiotic Formula to Target Imbalance in Gut Microbiota in COVID-19

Research
Two CUHK Scholars from the Faculty of Medicine Receive Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowships

Two CUHK Scholars from the Faculty of Medicine Receive Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowships

Awards and honors
Hong Kong and Macau Among Top Three Regions in Asia-Pacific with the Highest Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease CUHK Establishes Registry to Increase Public Awareness

Hong Kong and Macau Among Top Three Regions in Asia-Pacific with the Highest Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease CUHK Establishes Registry to Increase Public Awareness

Research
CUHK Professor Siew Ng is the first female clinician-scientist in mainland China selected as a New Cornerstone Investigator; New Cornerstone Science Laboratory inaugurated to dissect diet-microbiome interactions to improve human health

CUHK Professor Siew Ng is the first female clinician-scientist in mainland China selected as a New Cornerstone Investigator; New Cornerstone Science Laboratory inaugurated to dissect diet-microbiome interactions to improve human health

Awards and honors
Two CU Medicine scholars are elected as Foreign Members of the Academia Europaea

Two CU Medicine scholars are elected as Foreign Members of the Academia Europaea

Awards and honors
CUHK proves its self-developed oral microencapsulated live bacteria formula SIM03 improves disease severity and quality of life in children with eczema

CUHK proves its self-developed oral microencapsulated live bacteria formula SIM03 improves disease severity and quality of life in children with eczema

Research
CU Medicine study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases concludes that a novel oral microencapsulated live bacteria consortia (SIM01) alleviates long COVID symptoms

CU Medicine study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases concludes that a novel oral microencapsulated live bacteria consortia (SIM01) alleviates long COVID symptoms

Research
CU Medicine develops novel microbiome technology MOZAIC for faecal microbiota transplantation; Enhancing treatment success for Clostridioides difficile infections to over 90%

CU Medicine develops novel microbiome technology MOZAIC for faecal microbiota transplantation; Enhancing treatment success for Clostridioides difficile infections to over 90%

Research
CUHK Professor Siew Ng becomes the first clinician-scientist in Hong Kong  to be selected as a New Cornerstone Investigator

CUHK Professor Siew Ng becomes the first clinician-scientist in Hong Kong to be selected as a New Cornerstone Investigator

Awards and honors
CU Medicine discovers gut microbiome and metabolome markers that predict long-term COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness

CU Medicine discovers gut microbiome and metabolome markers that predict long-term COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness

Research
CUHK discovers the occurrence of gut microbiome dysbiosis at the prodromal stages of Parkinson’s disease Gives novel insights into neurodegenerative prevention, intervention and diagnosis

CUHK discovers the occurrence of gut microbiome dysbiosis at the prodromal stages of Parkinson’s disease Gives novel insights into neurodegenerative prevention, intervention and diagnosis

Research
CU Medicine leads new clinical practice guidelines on use of non-invasive biomarkers for colorectal cancer screening with international experts

CU Medicine leads new clinical practice guidelines on use of non-invasive biomarkers for colorectal cancer screening with international experts

Research
CU Medicine’s population-based long COVID-19 survey estimates that over 400,000 recovered COVID-19 patients suffer from sexual dysfunction and reproductive problems

CU Medicine’s population-based long COVID-19 survey estimates that over 400,000 recovered COVID-19 patients suffer from sexual dysfunction and reproductive problems

Research
Inaugural Croucher Professorship in Medical Science lecture by Professor Siew Ng:   A Magical Pursuit

Inaugural Croucher Professorship in Medical Science lecture by Professor Siew Ng: A Magical Pursuit

Awards and honors
CU Medicine, MagIC and HKSTP join hands to organise the Microbiome Summit 2023 “Hong Kong as a regional hub for microbiome industry”

CU Medicine, MagIC and HKSTP join hands to organise the Microbiome Summit 2023 “Hong Kong as a regional hub for microbiome industry”

Symposium
Large-scale clinical study shows CU Medicine (SIM01) microbiome formula reduces risk of infections including COVID-19

Large-scale clinical study shows CU Medicine (SIM01) microbiome formula reduces risk of infections including COVID-19

Research
CU Medicine supported by the Hospital Authority to launch HK’s first large-scale Long COVID survey, aiming to inform the government on impact of long COVID on healthcare services

CU Medicine supported by the Hospital Authority to launch HK’s first large-scale Long COVID survey, aiming to inform the government on impact of long COVID on healthcare services

Research
CUHK researchers discover distinct gut microbial signatures for prediction, diagnosis and treatment of long COVID

CUHK researchers discover distinct gut microbial signatures for prediction, diagnosis and treatment of long COVID

Research
Joint CUHK-HKU study discovers efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines correlates with a probiotic bacterium, Bifidobacterium adolescentis

Joint CUHK-HKU study discovers efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines correlates with a probiotic bacterium, Bifidobacterium adolescentis

Research
CUHK Discovers Children with Autism Have Delayed Gut Microbiome Maturity and  Identifies Faecal Bacterial Markers for Autism

CUHK Discovers Children with Autism Have Delayed Gut Microbiome Maturity and Identifies Faecal Bacterial Markers for Autism

Research
CU Medicine Study Suggests Toddlers are at High Risk of Being  “Silent Spreaders of SARS-CoV2 Infection”

CU Medicine Study Suggests Toddlers are at High Risk of Being “Silent Spreaders of SARS-CoV2 Infection”

Research
CU Medicine Found SARS-CoV2 in Infants' Stool A Coronavirus Testing Centre Is Established for Paediatric Population to Identify Silent Carriers

CU Medicine Found SARS-CoV2 in Infants' Stool A Coronavirus Testing Centre Is Established for Paediatric Population to Identify Silent Carriers

Research
CUHK Establishes Asia’s First Microbiota Transplantation and Research Centre Hope for New Strategies in Disease Prevention and Cure

CUHK Establishes Asia’s First Microbiota Transplantation and Research Centre Hope for New Strategies in Disease Prevention and Cure

Research
CUHK Announces World’s First Meta-analysis on Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori Infection

CUHK Announces World’s First Meta-analysis on Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori Infection

Research
CUHK World’s First Study Confirms A New Colorectal Cancer High Risk Group

CUHK World’s First Study Confirms A New Colorectal Cancer High Risk Group

Research
CUHK Latest Research Reveals FMT Effectiveness Triples that of Conventional Treatment

CUHK Latest Research Reveals FMT Effectiveness Triples that of Conventional Treatment

Research

Our Expert List

Many experts under the Faculty of Medicine are available for media interview.
Please click here for the expert list or contact us.