ECCO Fellowships and Grants Report

Sebastian Zeissig, SciCom Chair

Sebastian Zeissig 

One of the main goals of ECCO is to promote IBD-related basic and clinical research as well as to foster interaction and productive collaboration among European research groups working in the IBD field. To achieve this goal, ECCO supports numerous funding schemes with different scopes including ECCO Fellowships, Grants, and Travel Awards.

ECCO Fellowships, Grants and Travel Awards

This year’s ECCO Awards included 12 ECCO Grants, two ECCO Fellowships, two ECCO-AOCC Visiting Travel Grants (awarded jointly by ECCO and AOCC to encourage cooperation between Europe and Asia), two N-ECCO Research Grants, two ECCO Travel Awards and one D-ECCO Travel Award. Jointly with the International Bowel Ultrasound Group (IBUS), one ECCO-IBUS Intestinal Ultrasound Research Grant was awarded for the first time. All proposals submitted to ECCO were peer reviewed by a panel of expert reviewers.

ECCO Grants 2020

The 12 investigators and their proposals selected to receive funding through ECCO Grants are:

  1. Emma Paulides (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Predictive (longitudinal) gut microbial markers for the diagnosis of fatigue in IBD patients
  2. Ana Montalban-Arques (Zurich, Switzerland) The role of PTPN23 in intestinal inflammation and colitis-associated cancer
  3. Neil Chanchlani (Exeter, United Kingdom) Understanding the mechanisms of anti-TNF treatment failure in patients with Crohn’s Disease: a proteomic analysis of the PANTS cohort
  4. Ho-Su Lee (Leuven, Belgium) Familial aggregation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: a next-generation sequencing study
  5. Sebastian Zundler (Erlangen, Germany) Dose-related differential effects of vedolizumab on leukocyte subsets
  6. Simona Bertoni (Parma, Italy) CCR6 blockade as novel therapeutic strategy against inflammatory bowel disease
  7. Marieke Barnhoorn (Leiden, The Netherlands) Unraveling the immunoregulatory effects of local mesenchymal stromal cell therapy in patients with IBD
  8. Silke Kiessling (Freising, Germany) Induction of circadian microbial function in chronic intestinal inflammation
  9. Sebastiaan van der Storm (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Improving clinical outcomes for IBD patients undergoing colorectal surgery by using a clinically developed patient-centred mobile application
  10. Krisztina Gecse (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Advanced ultrasound and MRI techniques to evaluate fibrosis and inflammation in stricturing Crohn’s disease
  11. Gabriele Dragoni (Florence, Italy) The role of PADI4 in Crohn's disease: the citrullination of proteins in the transition from inflammation to fibrosis
  12. Chloe Huseyin (Cork, Ireland) The gut mycobiome in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: addressing ITS confounders

Each of the awarded ECCO Grants will be supported with EUR 50,000.

ECCO Fellowships 2020

The investigators and their proposals selected to receive ECCO Fellowships are:

  1. Ferdinando D'Amico (Milan, Italy) Comparative accuracy of the standard Lémann index (endoscopy + MRI) versus the simplified LI (MRI alone) for Crohn’s disease: a prospective observational cohort study
  2. Andres Machicote (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Targeting CD4+ T-cell plasticity in IBD

Both of the Fellowship awardees received a prize of EUR 60,000.-.

ECCO Travel Awards 2020

Jointly with AOCC (the Asian Organization for Crohn’s and Colitis), ECCO has awarded two ECCO-AOCC Visiting Travel Grants to encourage and promote collaboration in the field of IBD between Europe and Asia. Awardees are Jun Miyoshi (Tokyo, Japan) and Arshdeep Singh (Ludhiana, India).

We also funded 2 of the Travel Award applications submitted this year. Two ECCO Travel Awards went to Vanessa Zaiatz Bittencourt (Dublin, Ireland) and Aizhan Kanabayeva (Almaty, Kazakhstan). Kelly Issokson (Los Angeles, United States) received the D-ECCO Travel Award. Again, the selected applicants will be able to create and strengthen connections and to trigger new European collaborative studies. Travel awards are an excellent opportunity to learn from other practices and therefore we urge everyone to apply for these awards. Two N-ECCO Research Grants 2020 were awarded to:

  1. Katarina Pihl Lesnovska (Linköping, Sweden) Development of a disease activity index for microscopic colitis
  2. Ana Simona Fourie (Oxford, United Kingdom) Intimacy and sexuality concerns of those living with inflammatory bowel disease and the need for these to be addressed by healthcare professionals. A qualitative study

The budget for the N-ECCO Research Grant is EUR 20,000.-

ECCO-IBUS Intestinal Ultrasound Research Grant

For the first time, jointly by the International Bowel Ultrasound Group (IBUS) and ECCO, a clinical research fund of 20,000 EUR was awarded to the successful investigator Krisztina Gecse (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). The aim of the grant is to support clinical excellence in the investigation of utility of intestinal ultrasound used in the assessment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

New Calls in 2021: ECCO Grants

Another call for Grants is already open for all ECCO Members. You can find out more at https://www.ecco-ibd.eu/science/fellowships-and-grants.html. Please be reminded that the due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for applications has been extended to July 31, 2020, with the exception of the ECCO-IBUS Intestinal Ultrasound Research Grant for which the deadline is August 31, 2020.

To further enhance the visibility of research supported by ECCO Grants, the funding volume of ECCO Grants will be increased to a maximum of EUR 80,000 per Grant in 2021 and a total of 8 ECCO Grants will be supported. For several funding schemes, eligibility criteria and review processes have been adjusted, which is detailed in the respective factsheets. In addition, applications are now limited to one funding scheme per call per applicant. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the following calls have been temporarily stopped and will reopen again next year: ECCO Pioneer Award, Fellowships, ECCO Travel Awards (including N-ECCO and D-ECCO) and ECCO-AOCC Visiting Travel Grant.

In the meantime, we wish this year’s awardees great success with their projects and look forward to the presentation of the results at forthcoming ECCO Congresses.

Browse through the gallery:

Pictures are subject to copyright © ECCO

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Congress News, ECCO'20, Volume 15, Issue 1