It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in funding biomedical research. First, NIH is, itself, a major funder, with an annual budget in excess of $30 billion. Second, and equally as important, NIH research grants, even small ones, can help validate a research question and/or a researcher, thus potentially opening the door to even more funding from non-government sources.
Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) has maintained for years that celiac disease research has been grossly underfunded by NIH, especially relative to other gastrointestinal diseases, and we have focused considerable attention on raising awareness of celiac disease at NIH. A recent study published in the journal Gastroenterology confirms our long-held observation: “NIH funding of GI diseases is not proportional to disease prevalence or mortality. These data further suggest that a few diseases, including IBS and celiac disease, are underfunded in comparison with other diseases, especially when the prevalence, burden, and available treatment options are considered.” As you well know, there are no FDA-approved treatments for celiac disease. This disparity in funding is, likely, a key reason why.
Celiac Disease Found to Be Underfunded By NIH Compared to Other Diseases