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Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases (NIH/NIDDK Digestive Diseases Research Center)

The mission of our NIH-funded Digestives Diseases Research Center is to unite investigators with interests in digestive, liver and pancreatic physiology and disease in the exploration of creative experimental approaches as well as to stimulate others to enter this area of research. 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. The Center is divided into three thematic areas:

  1. Developmental biology and genetics
  2. Microbiome, immunobiology, and host immune response
  3. Cell growth and differentiation

Center resources include four scientific cores to support experimental procedures for Center Investigators, a pilot project program, weekly seminar series, an annual retreat, a journal and reference library, and various enrichment programs.


Anil K. Rustgi, MD
T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine and Genetics
Chief, Division of Gastroenterology
Co-Director, Tumor Biology Program, Abramson Cancer Center
American Cancer Society Research Professor

Associate Directors

Klaus Kaestner, Ph.D.                Thomas and Evelyn Suor Butterworth
Professor of Genetics                   Director of Next Generation Sequencing Core

Gary D. Wu, M.D.
Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology
Director, Molecular Biology/Gene Expression Core Facility
Associate Chief of Research, Division of Gastroenterology

Center Administrator Kim Meyers-McCombs


Blinking Light *Please remember to cite the Center (NIH-P30-DK050306) and its core facilities (Molecular Pathology and Imaging Core, Molecular Biology/Gene Expression Core, Transgenic and Chimeric Mouse Core, and Cell Culture Core) in your publications*


The final report on the NIDDK Centers Program Review has been released and is available on the NIDDK website.  The report includes newly added or revised sections that summarize input and outcomes, including recommendations to enhance the Centers programs.  

to read the full report


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University of Pennsylvania | Perelman School of Medicine