1. Home
  2. Research and Funding
  3. Research Programs & Contacts
  4. Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers

Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers

Bringing together basic and clinical investigators to enhance the impact of their digestive and/or liver diseases research.

NIDDK Program Staff

  • Peter Perrin, Ph.D. Gastrointestinal Host-Microbial Interactions, Basic Mucosal Immunology and Inflammation

Funding for Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers (DDRCC)

NIDDK funds Digestive Diseases Centers via P30. Please see the DDRCC Application Resources for required tables and addition documentation.

View the DDRCC current schedule of review for funded centers.

Resources and Services Available from Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers

Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers generate investigative resources that can be made available to the broader research community. Centers also often support pilot and feasibility programs that fund small grants to generate preliminary data to include in larger grant applications and offer enrichment activities.  

Information about Digestive Disease Research Center Sites

The NIDDK aims to integrate, coordinate, and foster interdisciplinary cooperation between groups of established investigators that conduct high-quality research on digestive and/or liver diseases. An existing base of outstanding digestive and/or liver disease-related research is a prerequisite for the establishment of a Center. Research in these Centers focuses on the etiology, treatment, and prevention of digestive and/or liver diseases. Each Digestive Diseases Research Core Center has its own individual theme, which reflects the research projects and interests of the Investigators constituting its membership. A Center’s theme serves to focus its activities to meet the needs of its members and facilitate a defined area of NIDDK-related digestive or liver diseases science. Further information about the Centers can be found on the overall Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers website as well as on the individual centers’ websites.

Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases
  • Research Aims: The scientific focus of the Center revolves around the molecular controls of cellular growth and differentiation in the digestive tract, liver and pancreas with the goal of achieving a new level of integration in biology, pathobiology, and therapy. The targeted areas of pathobiology include genetic, malignant, and inflammatory disease of the liver, pancreas, and digestive tract.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Molecular Pathology & Imaging Core (MPIC)
      • Host-Microbial Analytic and Repository Core
      • Genetically-modified Mouse Core
      • Cell Culture Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Project
      • encompasses molecular studies on the biology or disease of the alimentary tract, pancreas, and liver.
Center for the Study of IBD
  • Research Aims: CSIBD has advanced the understanding of inflammatory bowel disease through the study of relevant basic biological processes and the directed study of the diseases themselves.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Human Genetics and Microbiome Core
      • Morphology Core
      • Clinical Core
      • Immunology Core
      • Genetic Animal Models Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Young investigators (senior fellows* or junior faculty) working in areas that will improve our understanding of basic processes relevant to inflammatory bowel disease
      • Established investigators initiating a new area of research in their laboratories relevant to mechanisms underlying inflammatory bowel disease
Cincinnati Digestive Health Center
  • Research Aims: Fosters pediatric digestive disease research and strives to make significant discoveries to restore digestive health.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Gene Analysis Core
      • Integrative Morphology Core
      • Pluripotent Stem Cell and Organoid Core
      • Clinical Component
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Applications will be considered in all areas of digestive disease research with particular emphasis on the following Digestive Health Center (DHC) focus areas:
      • Liver Disease and Modeling
      • Digestive Disease and Immunity
      • Digestive Disease and Obesity
      • Translational Embryology (as it relates to digestive organs)
Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center
  • Research Aims: Cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary program between Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The center’s two major themes are digestive inflammation and metabolism, both of which represent well-established areas of collaborative investigation at CWRU.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Biorepository Core
      • Histology/Imaging Core
      • Mouse Models Core
      • Clinical Component
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Promote the development of independent research programs of junior investigators with an interest in digestive disease research by providing pilot resources;
      • Develop new research initiatives that will lead to competitive grant applications; and
      • Attract talented, established investigators in other fields to apply their research skills and expertise to digestive disease-related investigations.
Gastrointestinal Hormone Research Core Center
  • Research Aims: Investigate signal transduction mechanisms regulating homeostasis and GI disorders. Our approach includes studies on genetics and gene regulation, cellular signaling pathways, receptors,and ion channels.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Protein Localization, Identification, and Folding Core
      • In Vivo Animal and Human Studies Core
      • Molecular Biology Core
      • Microbiome and Metabolomics Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
Harvard Digestive Diseases Center
  • Research Aims: The study of epithelial cell function and mucosal biology including inflammation and host defense of the gastrointestinal tract, we have a major focus on the intestinal and inflammatory bowel diseases; gut microbiology; and stem cell and developmental biology of the intestine and liver in organ physiology, regenerative medicine, and metabolism.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Microscopy and Histology
      • Epithelial Cell and Mucosal Immunology
      • Gnotobiotic Mice, Microbiology, and Metagenomics and Metabolism
      • Clinical Translational Research Program
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • The HDDC is focused on the study of epithelial cell function and mucosal biology in inflammation, host defense, and cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and related mucosal surfaces. Pilot & Feasibility projects will be considered for support if they relate directly or indirectly to this mission.
Hopkins Conte Digestive Diseases Basic & Translational Research Core Center
  • Research Aims: Research theme:
    • Regulation of Epithelial Function, especially via changes in signal transduction, trafficking, and development. 
    • The major areas being studied include:
      1. Epithelial Transporter Function and Regulation, including trafficking, protein-protein interactions, and bioinformatics.
      2. Inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer development, including infectious diarrheal diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, fatty liver, alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, obesity, eosinophilic esophagitis, and pancreatitis.
      3. Epigenetic Aspects of GI Cancer.
  • Activities & Services
Liver Pathobiology and Gene Therapy Research Core Center
  • Research Aims: Conducts scientific investigation to understand:
    • fundamental mechanisms of normal liver function
    • alterations in these functions resulting from metabolic disorders, genetic diseases, acute and chronic liver injury, hepatitis virus infection, hepatic fibrosis and liver cancer
    • ways to overcome these abnormalities using state-of-the-art methods of genetic engineering, gene therapy and liver cell transplantation   
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Animal Models, Stem Cells and Cell Therapy
      • Imaging and Cell Structure
      • Genetic Engineering and Gene Therapy
      • Molecular Biology and Next Generation Technology
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Studies that are translational in nature, utilize human tissues, and involve collaboration between a laboratory and clinical/translational investigator, are strongly encouraged.
Mayo Clinic Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology
  • Research Aims: 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.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Clinical Core
      • Genetics and Model Systems Core
      • Optical Microscopy Core
      • Software
      • Pilot & Feasibility Program
        • Supports both new investigators just beginning their careers in digestive diseases research and innovative research proposals from experienced investigators who plan to change their area of research
Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center
  • Research Aims: Facilitates on-going digestive diseases research, promotes translational research between basic and clinical areas, develops new projects, nurtures new investigators, and provides GI educational activities.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Cellular and Molecular Morphology
      • Functional Genomics and Microbiome Integrative Biology
      • Study Design and Clinical Research
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Supports pilot/feasibility (P/F) projects in the area of GI-related research.
UCLA CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center
  • Research Aims: Interests and activities of CURE have evolved along with science in this area and now include several facets of gastrointestinal regulatory physiology and cell biology.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Models of Gastrointestinal
      • Function and Disease (MGFD)
      • Human Studies Core
      • Imaging and Stem Cell Biology Core (ISCB)
      • Integrated Molecular Technologies Core (IMTC)
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Funding will be available for high quality research in the biology, function and diseases of the digestive system, which is of relevance to the overall CURE Research Program, with special emphasis on receptor and signal transduction mechanisms, brain-gut interactions, gastrointestinal and pancreatic physiology and inflammation, and mechanisms underlying diseases of the digestive system.
UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease
  • Research Aims: The scientific focus of the CGIBD is the study of inflammation as it relates to inflammatory bowel and other digestive diseases.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Advanced Analytics
      • Biostatistics and Data Management
      • Gnotobiotic
      • Histology
      • Large Animal Models
      • Microbiome
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • proposed research must relate to digestive diseases.
UCSF Liver Center
  • Research Aims: The goal of the Center is to integrate bench science with clinical investigation, in support of its mission to understand and cure human liver diseases.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Cell Biology Core
      • Clinical & Translational Core
      • Immunology Core
      • Pathology & Imaging Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Early-stage investigators and senior trainees in the field of hepatology research
      • Established investigators from other disciplines with new liver-related projects
      • Existing Center members with new ideas completely divergent from their established expertise
USC Liver Transplant Program and Center for Liver Disease University of Chicago Digestive Diseases Research Core Center
  • Research Aims: Facilitate the use of new technologies in the study of treatment of digestive diseases.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Integrated Translational Research Core
      • Host-Microbe Core
      • Tissue Engineering and Cell Models Core
      • Tissue and Cell Imaging Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Broad aspects of basic and translational/clinical research related to enteric microbiology, inflammation, and immunology of the digestive tract and pathogenesis, genetics, pathophysiology, and bench-to-bedside aspects of inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease or food allergy will be given higher priority.
Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center
  • Research Aims: The DDRC is a multidisciplinary center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center developed to serve the following purposes:
    • Promote digestive diseases-related research in an integrative, collaborative and multidisciplinary manner
    • Develop and implement programs for attracting, training, and retaining young investigators in digestive disease-related research
    • Enhance the basic, translational, and clinical research capabilities of the VDDRC members
    • Facilitate the transfer of basic research discoveries to improvements in prevention and/or clinical care
    • Attract investigators not involved in digestive disease-related research to pursue these lines of investigation
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics Core
      • Cell Imaging Core
      • Flow Cytometry Core
      • Preclinical Models of Digestive Disease
      • Biostatistics Component
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Provides Vanderbilt investigators the opportunity to explore nascent, meritorious hypotheses related to digestive diseases with the ultimate goal being acquisition of external funding.
Washington University Digestive Diseases Research Core Center
  • Research Aims: The overarching mission of the Center is to advance research in digestive disease with a focus on interactions between host and environment. Interests are organized around three major themes:
    • Host-microbial interactions, inflammation and mucosal immunity
    • Stem cells, development, epithelial renewal and Cancer Biology
    • Nutrient transport, metabolism and signaling
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Administrative and Resource Access Core
      • Advanced Imaging & Tissue Analysis Core
      • Biobank Core
      • Murine Models & Gnotobiotics Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • This program hopes to encourage young investigators and more established investigators in other field to approach problems which are relevant to our understanding of normal intestinal, liver and pancreatic function and to digestive diseases. We are particularly interested in projects that address issues in mucosal immunity, epithelial injury/repair, microbial interactions with intestinal, hepatic and pancreatic tissues. We would like to encourage efforts addressing intestinal motility and the application of novel genetic models (e.g. C. elegans, Drosophilia, etc) to address questions in GI tract development.
Yale Liver Center
  • Research Aims: The research base focuses on seven major areas:
    • Cellular and Molecular Biology of the Liver
    • Hepatic Transport Mechanisms
    • Basic Biology of Disease Processes
    • Studies of the Splanchnic Circulation
    • Liver Immunology
    • Liver Cancer
    • Clinical Hepatology
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores
      • Cellular and Molecular Physiology Core Facility
      • Morphology Core Facility
      • Clinical and Translational Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
      • Projects utilizing Core Facilities and supporting young investigators are given priority if the science is equally meritorious.

Related Links

Research Resources

NIDDK makes publicly supported resources, data sets, and studies available to researchers to accelerate the rate and lower the cost of new discoveries.

  • Ancillary Studies to Major Ongoing Clinical Studies to extend our knowledge of the diseases being studied by the parent study investigators under a defined protocol or to study diseases and conditions not within the original scope of the parent study but within the mission of the NIDDK.
  • NIDDK Central Repository for access to clinical resources including data and biospecimens from NIDDK-funded studies.
  • NIDDK Information Network (dkNET) for simultaneous search of digital resources, including multiple datasets and biomedical resources relevant to the mission of the NIDDK.

Additional Research Programs

Research Training

Funding Eligibility by Career Level arrow graphic

NIDDK supports the training and career development of medical and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physician scientists through institutional and individual grants.

Learn about NIDDK Research Training Programs


Diversity Programs

The NIDDK offers and participates in a variety of opportunities for trainees and researchers from communities underrepresented in the biomedical research enterprise. These opportunities include travel and scholarship awards, research supplements, small clinical grants, high school and undergraduate programs, and a network of minority health research investigators.

Learn about NIDDK Diversity Programs

Small Business

Small Business Programs

NIDDK participates in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These programs support innovative research conducted by small businesses that has the potential for commercialization.

Learn about NIDDK Small Business Programs

Human Subjects Research

Human Subjects Research

NIDDK provides funding for pivotal clinical research, from preliminary clinical feasibility to large multi-center studies.

Learn about Human Subjects Research

Translational Research

Translational Research process graphic

NIDDK provides funding opportunities and resources to encourage translation of basic discoveries into novel therapeutics.

Learn about NIDDK Translational Research Opportunities

Meetings & Workshops

  • NIH Common Fund

    Learn about current projects and view funding opportunities sponsored by the NIH Common Fund.

  • Planning to Apply? Register Early

    Registration is required at eRA Commons and grants.gov and can take 4 weeks.