HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A physician and researcher of Connecticut Children’s has been awarded a grant to investigate the triggers behind Crohn’s Disease.

Dr. Hyams | Photo via Connecticut Children’s

Jeffrey S. Hyams, MD, Division Head of Gastroenterology and expert in Crohn’s Disease, was awarded to $14 million five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Thursday. The research grant is the largest grant awarded in Connecticut Children’s history.

The five-year study, dubbed CAMEO (clinical, imaging, and endoscopic outcomes of children newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease) will be directed by Dr. Hyams, as well as doctors from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and Emory University.

Throughout the study, 27 pediatric centers across North America will examine the response and remission after the treatment of anti-TNF biologics in children ages 6 to 17. Eventually, CAMEO hopes to enroll 900 kids in the study, targeting 550 of them for specific therapies.

Nearly 50 of these children will be from Connecticut.

While the cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, the disorder causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal system, leading to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bleeding. Connecticut Children’s said that over the past two decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of children who suffer from this disorder.

“By examining how inflammation is regulated and the interaction of the body’s immune system with the intestinal microbiome we hope to better understand why some children rapidly get better and others do not respond to therapy,” Dr. Hyams said. “This is the goal of precision or personalized medicine.”