MUSC lands $10.5 million intercollege grant to fund biomedical research center

Charleston Regional Business Journal
December 1, 2011

The Medical University of South Carolina has been awarded a $10.5 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund a biomedical research center.

The intercollege grant, the first of its kind at MUSC, is a joint effort of the College of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy, MUSC said in a news release. The partnership equally splits all costs, credits and administration and includes five scientists from six academic disciplines.

The primary purpose of the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence will be to develop and recruit faculty and build up essential research cores, creating a center of specialization in redox biology and stress signaling that creates jobs, draws potential entrepreneurial investment and brings national prominence, MUSC said.

The center began in September and is to run through August 2016.

“The principal investigators were highly creative in developing a proposal that leverages multiple resources to advance the research as efficiently and expediently as possible,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, the executive dean of the College of Pharmacy. “This grant will go a long way to help us support and train the best junior faculty members and provide them with excellent research equipment.”

The principal investigator is Dr. Kenneth Tew, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology in the College of Medicine. Dr. Rick Schnellmann, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, serves as the co-investigator.

“This award adds over $2 million of annual funding, helping to expand the ever-increasing funding base for the university and creating a substantial number of support jobs for the Charleston area,” Tew said. “Moreover, the recruitment of talented academic investigators fulfills part of the mandate of the SmartState initiative and brings additional opportunities to garner further funding and extend efforts into possible entrepreneurial endeavors.”

Schnellmann said the research into oxidants bridges the divide between basic and applied research.

“Redox biology and stress signaling are relevant to many diseases,” Schnellmann said. “If you use oxygen, you create oxidants, and they can be harmful. We want to discover how oxidants cause problems and how to stop initiation or progression of disease.”

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