2020 GI Collaborative Seeds

figure of key institutes and research/medical centers in La Jolla

Discovery and innovation live at the intersection of different fields and disciplines. MOMI CORE is committed to identifying and leveraging these connection points, and gut health is a prime example.

One of our research goals is to discover the effects of breastfeeding or intake of human milk components on gut health. How do human milk components enhance gut development, promote gut mucosal immunity, and prevent digestive diseases in infants? How can we harness the power of human milk to develop new therapeutics to fight digestive diseases like IBD, cancer or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adolescents and adults?

Join the Initiative!

If you are interested in this area of research and would like to join and support this initiative, please contact our Center Director via email.

Collaborating with the experts in the related fields will empower us to answer these and many other questions. Fortunately, the experts are right next door - literally. MOMI CORE shares lab and office spaces with the new NIH-funded San Diego Digestive Diseases Research Center (SDDRC) and the Center for Mucosal Immunology, Allergy and Vaccine Development (cMAV), a joint program between Chiba University (Japan) and UC San Diego. The three centers already work closely together. Now, we announce the first round of joint Digestive Diseases Collaborative Seeds pilot grants.

Digestive Diseases Collaborative Seeds

This pair of awards will be given to two investigators for two independent but highly collaborative projects. The goal is to foster cross-disciplinary research in digestive diseases that brings together complementary approaches and technologies to address a major challenge in digestive health and diseases.

Call for applications closed November 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Digestive Diseases Collaborative Seeds are one-year competetive awards (2 x $50,000) to fund early stage projects with relevance to human milk, mucosal immunity, and digestive diseases research. Earliest funding start date will be January 1, 2020.

Visit the SDDRC website for detailed information on how to apply!

The applications should propose independent projects following the guidelines below, but identify a partner proposal and provide a separate joint justification of the expected collaborations and synergies between the two partners. While both applications will be independently evaluated for scientific potential and quality, a compelling collaborative rationale will greatly increase the funding chances for both awards. As a condition for these awards, at least one of them must conduct studies involving selected aspects of human milk biology or milk components and digestive health, while the other award must at least explain how the proposed studies are relevant to the understanding of human milk biology and digestive health, thereby facilitating productive interactions with the partner project.


Investigators must have a faculty position (including Adjunct, Project and Research Scientist positions), at the time the award is made, at one of the four academic institutions that participate in the SDDRC (UC San Diego, La Jolla Institute for Immunology, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, and The Salk Institute for Biological Studies). Applications can be submitted before faculty appointment, but the award will only be made after appointment.

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