Research Partnerships

Connect Immune Research

As of August 2021, Bowel Research UK has been part of the Connect Immune Research initiative. Other members include type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, the MS Society, Versus Arthritis, the British Society for Immunology, Alopecia UK, the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance and Coeliac UK.

Together we work to accelerate research into autoimmune conditions, which see the body’s immune system mistakenly attack healthy cells. The major autoimmune conditions in bowel disease are the inflammatory bowel diseases Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. Autoimmune conditions affect an estimated four million people in the UK – equivalent to more than six per cent of the population. No cures have yet been found – but we know collaborative research is our best hope.

The Connect Immune Research initiative brings together researchers from across the spectrum of autoimmune conditions to uncover the common threads in their work. This will see greater efficiency and hopefully new treatments, faster.

On joining the partnership, Lesley Booth, Bowel Research UK Director of Research, said: “Chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are thought to be associated with autoimmune responses where the body’s own immune system attacks healthy tissues. Severe cases of both conditions can be highly debilitating and life-limiting.

“As we stand, there is a lot more to be discovered about autoimmune conditions and a pressing need for more research. This is why we are delighted to join Connect Immune Research, to pool our research findings and work with organisations such as Coeliac UK, the MS Society and the British Society for Immunology and many others to discover more about these and other diseases like arthritis for which there are currently treatments but no cures.”

You can read more here about Connect Immune Research.