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2020 MOMI Seeds

This marks the third round of our MOMI Seeds pilot grant program. In addition to our regular MOMI Seeds with applicants responding to specific research priority areas, MOMI CORE - for the first time - teamed up with other UC San Diego centers to solicit applications for combined pilot grant programs.

  • MOMI Seeds Pilot Grants - four Research Priority Areas
    • Gut Health: effects of breastfeeding or intake of human milk components on gut health
    • Analytical Technologies: applying analytical technologies to human milk research
    • Social and Educational Studies: research related to social, educational and knowledge management aspects of human milk and lactation
    • "Milk Moonshot": an innovative and creative idea for a project related to human milk and breastfeeding that does not fit in any of the other Research Priority Areas
  • Digestive Diseases Collaborative Seeds Pilot Grants - in collaboration with the San Diego Digestive Diseases Research Center (SDDRC) and the UC San Diego Center for Mucosal Immunology, Allergy and Vaccine Development (cMAV)
  • Public Health Collaborative Pilot Grants - in collaboration with the UC San Diego Institute for Public Health


​Number of Applications Submitted 

$230, 000

Research funds awarded


Number of awards granted 

2020 Awardees

​Drew Hall, PhD

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
"A Bed-side Electrochemical Sensor for Point-of-care Milk Testing"

​Anthony O’Donoghue, PhD

Assistant Professor, Skaggs School of Pharmacy
"Quantification of Proteolytic Activity in Human Milk using Mass Spectrometry"

​Sydney Leibel, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
"The Role of Early Food and Environmental Exposures through Breastmilk in the Development of Atopic Conditions in a Preterm Population"

Digestive Diseases Collaborative Seeds Pilot Grant

Hiutung Chu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology

"Mini Guts: Understanding the Effects of Bacteria and Human Milk on Intestinal Health (part 1)"


Mamata Sivagnanam, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
"Mini Guts: Understanding the Effects of Bacteria and Human Milk on Intestinal Health (part 2)"

2020 Program Summary

UC San Diego faculty members were eligible to apply. UC San Diego Postdoctoral Fellows, Medical Fellows, and Residents (Trainees) were also encouraged to apply, but needed to be sponsored by a UC San Diego faculty member.

pie chart for percentagese of applications by research priority area

Specific Research Priority Areas (RPAs) are assigned for each application cycle based on the short- and long-term strategic goals of the center. The 2020 cycle invited submissions and received applications with relevance to the following RPAs:

pie chart for percentagese of applications by research priority area

Each application was assigned to two out of eleven independent peer-reviewers who scored the applications based on relevance to the respective Research Priority Area, innovation, investigator(s), approach and scientific rigor, feasibility, as well as potential for extramural funding.

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