April 05, 2016

New, First‐of‐its‐Kind Sherman Prize Honors Excellent Achievements in Addressing the Challenges of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

– Program Will Award More Than $225,000 in Inaugural Year – Online Nominations Now Open –

NEW YORK, April 5, 2016 – The Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation today announced that online nominations are open for the Sherman Prize for Excellence in Crohn’s and Colitis, the first prize of its kind to honor exceptional and pioneering achievements in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The prize recognizes outstanding contributions by healthcare professionals, medical researchers, public health advocates, and educators who are advancing patient care, medical research, and public service in the field of Crohn’s and colitis. In funding this novel prize for excellence, the charitable foundation seeks to provide winners with flexible funding to advance their work, while creating a ripple effect, inspiring excellence among others who are striving to improve understanding and treatment of Crohn’s and colitis.

Bruce and Cynthia Sherman were inspired to launch the Sherman Prize by watching Bruce’s family members cope with Crohn’s disease. “We’ve seen firsthand how Crohn’s disease can wreak physical and emotional havoc on those suffering from the disease, as well as their family and friends, who wish they could do more to ease the burdens of their loved ones,” said Bruce Sherman. “Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to meet truly inspirational people in the Crohn’s community—from compassionate practitioners driving advances in care and treatment, to advocates providing amazing support. Now we have a chance to give back, and we hope that by recognizing and rewarding outstanding work on Crohn’s and colitis, we can inspire greater advances that will help us to better understand, treat, and, ultimately, cure these terrible diseases.”

The Sherman Prize will operate on an annual basis. Every year, two or more prizes of $100,000 will be awarded to those who have made extraordinary contributions in caring for patients or advocating on their behalf, advancing medical research, and/or providing public education. In addition, a $25,000 Sherman Emerging Leader Prize will be awarded to an individual who demonstrates high potential in the area of Crohn’s and colitis. Selection decisions will be made by the Sherman Prize Board of Directors, with significant guidance and support from the Sherman Prize Selection Committee, a group of six of the nation’s preeminent scholars, clinicians, and advocates working on Crohn’s and colitis.

“By recognizing excellent work on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and rewarding these achievements, the Sherman Prize may inspire others who are working to improve the care of people with these diseases,” said Dr. David Rubin, Chief, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Co‐Director, Digestive Diseases Center, University of Chicago Medical Center. “I’m honored to serve on the inaugural Sherman Prize Selection Committee and look forward to reviewing an exceptional roster of nominees who are making a positive impact on those living with Crohn’s and colitis.”


Nominations for the Sherman Prize are now being accepted at www.ShermanPrize.org. Nominees will be evaluated on the quality and impact of their work and their contributions to the field of Crohn’s and colitis. To be eligible, nominees must live and work in the United States and demonstrate achievement in the last decade, with preference given to those who have made significant contributions to the field in more recent years.

The nomination period will be open through May 31, 2016, with finalists selected in the summer and winners announced in the fall. The prize program will coordinate with winners to ensure they can effectively invest the award in their work to have the greatest impact.

To learn more about the prize, or to nominate someone doing exceptional work on Crohn’s and colitis, please visit www.ShermanPrize.org.


Millions of people worldwide suffer from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which are chronic, inflammatory diseases that damage the gastrointestinal tract. Common symptoms of Crohn’s include persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, an urgent need to move the bowels, abdominal cramps and pain, and weight loss. Similarly, the symptoms of ulcerative colitis include urgent, loose bowel movements and persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain and blood in the stool.

Many people with Crohn’s and colitis require surgical interventions that may involve lengthy hospital stays and recuperation time. Up to 70 percent of people with Crohn’s and about one third of longtime colitis sufferers ultimately require surgery; the standard surgery for colitis is removal of the colon and rectum. In addition to the complications associated with severe disease, those suffering from Crohn’s and colitis are at higher risk for other serious health problems, including colorectal cancer, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.

While there are treatments for Crohn’s and colitis, there is no cure, and available medicines do not work for everyone. Over a lifetime, these diseases can take a significant physical and emotional toll, both on those who suffer, as well as their families. Great strides have been made in understanding and treating Crohn’s and colitis, but many challenges remain, including delays in diagnosis, insufficient understanding of what causes the diseases or leads to progression, limited treatment options, limited knowledge as to the psychosocial and behavioral consequences of inflammatory bowel disease, and disparities in quality of care and support.


The Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation is a federally registered private foundation established in 2005, with initial and ongoing support provided exclusively by Bruce and Cynthia Sherman. It supports a variety of charitable and philanthropic causes, including childhood development, advanced medical research and education, and the performing and visual arts. The Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation is the sole funder of the Sherman Prize.

Media Contact: Shannon Richardson, 202.997.1982