Scientific Enrichment Program

The goal of the Scientific Enrichment Program within the Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology (C-SiG) is to enhance the C-SiG environment by promoting education and fostering research synergy through communication among its members.

The Scientific Enrichment Program also helps provide the center with an intra- and extramural identity. The C-SiG educational programs act as an engine for fortifying the center's research environment because they bring new information and novel scientific approaches to C-SiG research teams and provide an outlet for communication between the center and the larger Mayo Clinic and non-Mayo Clinic scientific communities.

The center's educational programs are also pivotal in developing new research directions by providing extramural speakers and seminars on new technological advances and opportunities.

The education programs enhance the scientific milieu by providing constructive feedback to C-SiG members and by motivating and supporting young investigators to pursue research in digestive, liver and pancreatic diseases.

Numerous opportunities are available through the Scientific Enrichment Program.

Weekly seminars

The Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology sponsors several weekly seminars, including a centerwide seminar series and a series for each of the three research themes. The goal of these seminars is to regularly promote both intra- and inter-theme interactions.

Visiting Scientist Program

The purpose of hosting national scholars is to provide C-SiG members with the opportunity to develop new research initiatives and network with prominent scientists. In addition to attending formal presentations, the visiting professors also meet with faculty and fellows.

The C-SiG Visiting Scientist Program complements the ongoing Visiting Faculty Program in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic. Whereas the divisional program often focuses on inviting individuals for a variety of purposes (such as clinical expertise, stature, programmatic issues and scientific excellence), the C-SiG Visiting Scientist Program focuses on individuals complementing current C-SiG investigative efforts, including topics related to the C-SiG research themes.

Annual minisymposium

The annual minisymposium provides a vehicle for C-SiG members and associates to discuss science in a relaxed location.

Each year, one or two external keynote speakers are featured. C-SiG Pilot and Feasibility Program link to new page recipients and the C-SiG New Named Investigator present their research results. Three meritorious posters are awarded, typically one from each mechanistic research theme.

The minisymposium is held each June near the campus in Rochester, Minnesota, to maximize participation. The location and decompressed schedule provide an opportunity for center members to exchange ideas, establish new collaborations and hear about scientific developments. This minisymposium provides a great opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas between the thematic research interest groups.

Co-sponsored workshops and symposia

The Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology works with intramural partners to provide additional educational opportunities relevant to the center's research themes (ion channels and membrane receptors; signal transduction; and genetics and gene regulation) and disease focus areas (enteric neurosciences and motility; liver pathobiology; and inflammation and cell transformation).

Recent topics of co-sponsored workshops include chromatin and epigenetics, extracellular vesicles and exosomes, chemical libraries and drug repurposing, tumor angiogenesis, and human microbiome research.


The minisabbatical program allows center members to spend one to two weeks working in an extramural academic or industrial laboratory setting to learn new techniques, to acquire knowledge about new model development, or to finalize a collaborative investigation where the presence of the principal investigator is essential for data interpretation and finalization of the project.

In addition, reverse minisabbaticals also are offered. These provide an extramural investigator with funding for one or two weeks to bring a new technology to Mayo Clinic, help develop new models, troubleshoot technical problems, or finalize collaborations that have a mature data set.

One minisabbatical is funded per budget year, with a $4,500 maximum.

Career development retreat

A retreat is held each fall for fellows and graduate students involved in digestive diseases research.

At the retreat, fellows and students with mature projects give brief research talks and receive scientific input.

More importantly, the retreat focuses heavily on career development. During breakout sessions, faculty members give talks and lead discussions about selecting a research project and mentor, identifying and negotiating for jobs at academic medical centers, career tracks at academic medical centers, and other aspects of the academic career.