The DDC director is Hashem B. El-Serag, M.D., M.P.H., Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Chair of the Department of Medicine, and professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor. James Versalovic, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice chair of pathology & immunology at Baylor College of Medicine and pathologist-in-chief and director of the Texas Children’s Microbiome Center at Texas Children’s Hospital, serves as DDC co-director. Dr. Versalovic is also the director of the functional genomics and microbiome core of the DDC. Jason Mills, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, serves as associate director of the center. J. Marc Rhoads, M.D., gastroenterology division director and professor of pediatric gastroenterology at The University of Texas Health Science Center is assistant director.
Basic Science & Clinical Cores
The TMC DDC supports three basic science cores: Cellular and Molecular Morphology, Functional Genomics and Microbiome, Gastrointestinal Experimental Module Systems; and one clinical core: Study Design and Clinical Research.
Current DDC membership includes 141 members, including 69 full members with approximately $45 million in digestive diseases-related research funding as of 2021. The DDC has particular strengths in the areas of gastrointestinal development, infection, and injury.
Enrichment programs include a weekly seminar series, an annual symposium, and research opportunities for young investigators to work with some of the most well-known scientists and clinicians in digestive diseases.
The TMC DDC Pilot/Feasibility Program is offered annually and supports innovative ideas and new investigators in digestive diseases research and fosters collaboration among TMC DDC members.
This site provides information on our mission, facilities, programs, and investigators.
Please Note: All DDC core users must acknowledge the DDC in publications and grant applications, as follows, "This project was supported in part by PHS grant P30DK056338" and publications must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy, including the use of PMCIDs for all publications after April 2008. View more information.
An NIH-funded Silvio O Conte Digestive Diseases Research Core Center located in Houston, Texas, was formalized in 2001, with NIDDK support to promote, facilitate and enhance the advancement of science and gastrointestinal (GI)-related research through formal interactions among various research and training units at participating institutions in the Texas Medical Center. The Center was founded by Mary K. Estes, Ph.D., emeritus director and distinguished service professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.
Renewal of this DDC in 2007, 2012, and 2017 has enhanced collaborative interactions with increased productivity. This competing renewal application builds on the strengths of our DDC to further increase the productivity of multidisciplinary groups of basic and clinical investigators, who constitute a growing and increasingly interactive research community in digestive diseases by providing access to cost-effective, highly specialized shared resources and expertise.