The mission of the Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology (C-SiG) at Mayo Clinic is to improve understanding of the signaling pathways that control the function of gastrointestinal cells in health and disease.

While throughout the last decade there has been tremendous progress toward uncovering the fundamental mechanisms contributing to gastrointestinal diseases, new insights haven't been sufficiently translated into innovative therapies. Unlike breakthroughs in other major biomedical fields, advances in gastrointestinal cell biology have had a limited meaningful effect on the natural history and prevalence of many diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract.

The Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology is designed to facilitate progress, which depends on access to a variety of tools for basic discoveries and opportunities for translational advances.

The center serves as a hub that provides access to state-of-the-art research resources and expertise to multidisciplinary groups of basic scientists and clinical researchers.

Although the center's focus is on digestive disease research, its members come from a variety of fields, including biochemistry and molecular biology, endocrinology, physiology, immunology, pathology, and oncology.

The center fosters research collaboration among scientists and clinicians, which enables faster translation from the lab to clinical trials, ultimately improving digestive disease treatment for patients.

The Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic is one of 17 such centers funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Silvio O. Conte Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers (DDRCCs) P30 grant mechanism.

Center leadership and governance

The director of the Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology is Nicholas F. LaRusso, M.D.

Learn more about the center's leadership and governance.

Center goals

Goals of the Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology are to support and enhance digestive disease research by:

  • Fostering collaborative, multidisciplinary research both by expanding the technical and collaborative capabilities of established GI scientists and by attracting investigators from other disciplines
  • Promoting synergistic interaction among Mayo Clinic investigators through activities that support digestive disease-related research and promote translation of basic science discoveries into clinical research
  • Developing and implementing a robust and diverse Scientific Enrichment Program that includes seminars, workshops, symposia and Web-based curricula
  • Identifying and nurturing development of new GI investigators via a rigorously peer-reviewed Pilot and Feasibility Program
  • Creating a supportive infrastructure that makes technologies more easily accessible; providing technical expertise to members from experts in a particular technology; using existing resources efficiently; and developing novel methodologies through three linked biomedical center cores


Shared resources (cores) foster productivity, synergy and new research ideas and techniques in an efficient, cost-effective manner. The Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology offers specialized equipment, technologies, methodologies, reagents and expertise to assist its faculty members and their research teams through three cores:

  • Clinical Core: Provides centralized access for normal and abnormal gastrointestinal biospecimen acquisition, processing and annotation
  • Genetics and Model Systems Core: Provides plasmids, transposons, TALENs and CRISPRs that can be applied to mammalian and nonmammalian model development
  • Optical Microscopy Core: Provides consultative expertise and training for sophisticated cell imaging technologies and applications

Software and other resources

The Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology has developed administrative software tools that are available for use by other Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers (DDRCCs) funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

In addition, the center has compiled a wide variety of resources related to digestive diseases.