Mayo Clinic Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology (C-SiG)

Research Focus

Before the launch of the Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology (C-SiG), digestive disease research at Mayo Clinic was often organized by organ or disease, reinforcing a silo-like approach to scientific collaborations. Realizing the limitations of this approach, the center leadership reorganized investigators into three highly focused, dynamic, interactive research themes focused on mechanisms of cellular and molecular processes, as opposed to specific organ physiology and cell types. The current themes are:

Intracellular Signaling, including:

  • Receptors
  • Ion channels
  • Ciliary signaling
  • Intracellular messengers
  • Autophagy
  • Metabolism

Cell-to-Cell Communication, including:

  • Extracellular vesicles
  • iPS cells
  • Organoids
  • Microbiome
  • Cell trafficking and migration
  • Cytokines and inflammation

Genetics & Epigenetics, including:

  • Gene transcription, splicing & editing
  • MicroRNAs
  • Chromatin dynamics
Disease focus areas

In addition to the research themes, the faculty in the Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology are also organized into three disease focus areas of long-standing strength at Mayo Clinic:

Enteric neurosciences and motility, including:

  • Fecal incontinence
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gastroparesis
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders

Liver pathobiology, including:

  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Polycystic liver disease
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Biliary cryptosporidiosis
  • Alcohol-based liver disease

Inflammation and cell transformation, including:

  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Cholangiocarcinoma

While the emphasis of the Mayo Clinic Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology is on supporting the research themes, the disease focus areas set the stage for translating basic science discoveries to human disease by providing structure and the opportunity for additional collaboration and synergy. The disease focus areas provide a forum for basic scientists and clinicians to exchange information and form collaborative alliances. These relationships are beneficial to basic scientists, who need tissues from rare disease states and need the help of clinicians to identify potential patients. The clinicians, in turn, benefit from collaboration with basic scientists who can perform pilot studies of research ideas generated from patient care.