October 29, 2020

Sherman Prize Announces 2020 Honorees

— Recipients’ recognized for advocating relentlessly for patients, leading
adoption of best practices in patient care and advancing novel research, such as confirming bowel inflammation as a risk factor for colorectal cancer, describing the relationship between diet and the gut microbiome and establishing efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation in IBD —

BOCA RATON, Fla., October 29, 2020 – The Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation announced the recipients of the 2020 Sherman Prizes and Sherman Emerging Leader Prize, adding to its Honor Roll of legendary pioneers in the field of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, also known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). All honorees share a passionate commitment to advancing IBD care, having dedicated their careers to the fight to overcome these diseases.

David T. Rubin, MD, FACG, AGAF, FACP, FASGE, FRCP (Edinburgh), Joseph B. Kirsner Professor of Medicine; Chief, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; Co-Director, Digestive Diseases Center; University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, IL, is widely renowned in the IBD community as a brilliant clinician, creative researcher, tireless advocate and trailblazing educator. Dr. Rubin is awarded a $100,000 Sherman Prize for his unwavering dedication to advancing the field and his fierce advocacy to protect and promote patients’ access to optimal care, ambitions that harken back to his fellowship in clinical medical ethics. Dr. Rubin’s research that demonstrated inflammation as a risk factor for colorectal cancer in IBD patients has made a profound impact on treatment goals and his recent work leading education efforts around COVID-19 and IBD has shaped patient care during these challenging times. Dr. Rubin is an inspiration to his trainees and to IBD professionals, motivating their own work and research, and a beacon of hope to patients who know that he’ll never stop fighting for them.

Gary D. Wu, MD, Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology; Director, Penn Center for Nutritional Science and Medicine; Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, has pioneered the study of the gut microbiome in IBD, publishing seminal research on the relationship between diet and the microbiome — enabling multiple areas of research into dietary interventions for IBD. Today, he continues to push the boundaries of this research to unravel the mechanisms by which food and nutrition can cause, prevent or treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. Wu is awarded a $100,000 Sherman Prize for bringing together multi-disciplinary research teams to translate his innovative wet bench research findings into novel treatment approaches. He leads this team of innovators at the Penn Center for Nutritional Science and Medicine, where they study how the underlying biology of the food we eat ultimately affects our health. As he advances this research, Dr. Wu has also dedicated himself to developing the next generation of physician scientists and is widely regarded for his superb mentorship of trainees and junior faculty.

Jessica R. Allegretti, MD, MPH, Associate Director, Crohn’s and Colitis Center and Director, Fecal Microbiota Transplant Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, is a highly regarded expert in the field of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and microbiome therapeutics, establishing the therapy as an effective treatment in IBD patients with recurrent c. difficile infection. Dr. Allegretti is awarded the $25,000 Sherman Emerging Leader Prize for her commitment to these vulnerable, poorly understood and difficult-to-treat patients, building a world-class FMT program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and teaching other institutions how to do the same. Dedicated to ensuring all patients have access to treatment options, Dr. Allegretti has also established her IBD Center as a clinical trials hub in New England, which now attracts patients from all over the region for help with their complex cases. As she moves this research forward, the IBD community will likely see more advances from Dr. Allegretti in the years to come.

“For five years, my wife, Cynthia, and I have celebrated the achievements of healthcare professionals whose persistent efforts have made such a huge impact. And each year we’ve been awed by extraordinary individuals, like Drs. Gary Wu, David Rubin and Jessica Allegretti, who give so much of themselves to help people with IBD,” said Bruce Sherman, Founder of the Sherman Prize. “In a year of unprecedented challenges, Cynthia and I are particularly honored to recognize these IBD leaders who have continued their exceptional work, while protecting vulnerable patients’ access to care at a time when they need it most. We thank these healthcare heroes and salute all those going above and beyond for patients during this critical time.”

The Sherman Prizes will be presented by the Prize Selection Committee at the Advances in IBD virtual conference on Dec. 9.

“Drs. Rubin, Wu and Allegretti inspire our community – showing that even in extraordinary times that tremendous advances against IBD are possible when outstanding talent meets passion, commitment and perseverance,” said Dr. Dermot P.B. McGovern, Sherman Prize Selection Committee Chair and the Joshua L. and Lisa Z. Greer Endowed Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics at Cedars-Sinai. “Their dedication to clinical care, research, and training exemplify all that is best in our community and give us hope that one day we will overcome these diseases.”

About the Sherman Prize

The Sherman Prize was founded in 2016 by the Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation to honor innovators from a variety of professional disciplines who have dedicated their careers to the fight to overcome IBD and represent “Excellence in Crohn’s and Colitis” in their chosen endeavors. Every year, two $100,000 Sherman Prizes are awarded to IBD visionaries to recognize their exceptional and pioneering contributions that have transformed the care of people with IBD. A $25,000 Sherman Emerging Leader Prize is awarded to an IBD professional who, while early in her or his career, has contributed to an advancement and shows great promise for significant future contributions. Visit ShermanPrize.org to view the Honor Roll of Sherman Prize recipients, watch their inspiring short tribute films and sign up to receive notification of the 2021 nomination cycle.

Media Contact: Shannon Richardson, 202-997-1982, srichardsonllcva@gmail.com