Rome Foundation Research Program

The Rome Foundation has a 9-year history of sponsoring research. The goals of the research program have been three-fold: (1) to test the validity of the diagnostic criteria so that revisions to the criteria can be empirically based; (2) to increase knowledge of the prevalence and epidemiology of the FGIDs, especially in non-Western countries, in order to provide new insights into pathophysiology; and (3) to interest young investigators in research and clinical practice in the area of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and motility disorders.

2009 Ray Clouse Prize for the Best Research Article on Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders

This year, the Rome Foundation decided to award two researchers with the prize for best publication.

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Rome Foundation Fellowship in Functional GI and Motility Disorders

The 2009 Rome Foundation Fellows are:

Aldona Dlugosz, MD
Punit Jhaveri, MD
Emidio Scarpellini, MD

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Rome Foundation Competitive Research Award

The Rome Foundation established a Research Committee in January 2007, chaired by William Whitehead and Enrico Corazziari. This committee was charged with (1) developing guidelines for an annual research award program, (2) overseeing the process of soliciting applications and reviewing them, and (3) monitoring progress of grants awarded through semiannual reports from awardees. The guidelines (approved May 2007) specify that one or more awards of up to $50,000 will be given annually. Preference will be given to applications that (1) test the validity and/or utility of the Rome III diagnostic criteria, (2) assess the epidemiology of functional GI and motility disorders, or (3) advance knowledge of outcome assessment or trial design for FGID treatment trials. Applications will be reviewed by an independent review panel and Rome Foundation Board members are not eligible to apply.

In 2008, the first award was given to Dr. Madhulika Varma for her work on “Comprehensive validation of the Rome III constipation module”. In 2009, the Rome Foundation is pleased to give this award to Dr. Miranda van Tilburg for her work on “Validation of the Child/Adolescent Rome III Criteria”.

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Cross-Cultural Research Awards on Rome II and Rome III in Latin America

The Rome Foundation has provided funding for cross-cultural epidemiologic and validation studies. These studies have involved translation and validation of the Rome II and Rome III questionnaires and will provide the first population-based data of a range of gastrointestinal diseases, with a focus on IBS and FGIDs. This will further advance research and teaching collaborations in many areas and will generate a broad portfolio of research which will benefit the region.

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Development and Validation of Rome III Questionnaire

A major change in Rome III was the development of a diagnostic questionnaire which asked subjects to report on the frequency of occurrence of symptoms on an ordinal scale rather than responding only whether the symptom occurred at least 25% of the time on a binary Yes/No scale. The Rome Foundation board commissioned a multi-site study to develop and validate this questionnaire ($58,978).

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Initial Series of Validation Study Awards

In 1998, the Rome Foundation Board decided to support research studies on the validation of the Rome I criteria in order to provide a stronger empirical foundation for the revision of the Rome criteria that was anticipated. A Request for Application was published in 1998 and five awards of approximately $30,000 each were made in January 1999.

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