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Where Discovery Translates Into Care

The talented faculty and their research teams together with their knowledge, commitment, and experience are the greatest assets of an academic medical center such as the Medical University of South Carolina. Our basic science investigators continually push the limits of what is known, providing clinicians with a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the diseases they treat. The close collaboration between clinicians and basic science researchers at MUSC helps focus laboratory research on clinically relevant projects and speed the translation of discovery into care. The South Carolina Clinical and Translational Institute, funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), and the Hollings Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center in the state of South Carolina, provide broad support for research teams to translate their findings into clinical trials and then into care.

This has been a winning strategy for MUSC. Despite a more competitive environment for grant monies, MUSC has maintained impressive levels of support from the National Institutes of Health ($92 million in fiscal year 2012) and other funding sources (total grant support for fiscal year 2012: $232 million). MUSC’s Departments of Neurosciences and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences were ranked fifth and seventh in the nation for NIH support for similar programs (federal fiscal year 2012 data). MUSC has been awarded NIH  Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grants in Oral Health Research; Cardiovascular Developmental Biology; Lipidomics and Pathobiology; and Oxidants, Redox Balance and Stress signaling, totaling more than $27 million. The recently completed James E. Clyburn Research Center, which includes a Drug Discovery Building and a Bioengineering Building and houses a number of advanced technologies in genomics, proteomics, biomedical imaging, and drug metabolism (among many others) as well as several SmartState® Endowed Chairs, supports MUSC’s efforts to play a greater role in drug discovery and the development of medical devices and diagnostics. The Foundation for Research Development and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship support researchers as they apply for patents, seek industry support, and work to move their ideas and discoveries forward where they can benefit the broad communities we serve.

The Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs

The Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs (CDAP) at MUSC’s Institute of Psychiatry is studying the transition from social to heavy/dependent drinking.

Drug Discovery at MUSC, Part I

As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)–designated cancer center in South Carolina and one of fewer than 70 in the nation, MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center is dedicated to helping identify novel targets and compounds that could offer new treatment options for patients. 

Drug Discovery at MUSC, Part II

MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center has succeeded in bringing an anticancer compound (a sphingosine kinase inhibitor) to a first-in-class, first-in-human clinical trial (the Apogee trial), a rare feat even among National Cancer Institute–designated cancer centers. 

Garlic Holds Promise to Combat Deadly Brain Tumor

An MUSC neuroscientist has identified a compound in garlic - diallyl trisulfide (DATS) - that could be a potent weapon against glioblastoma.

Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Cancer, Part I

Researchers at MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center are training the immune system to better detect and target tumor cells.  

Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Cancer, Part II

Building an all-human antibody against cancer through an in vitro germinal center

Paving the Way for New Anti-Cancer Compounds

Lipodomics research could lead to a better understanding of cancer cell proliferation and metastasis and set the stage for a potent new group of anti-cancer compounds.

Effective Treatment for Marijuana Cessation

A research team in MUSC’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences completed the first study showing significant effects of a medication treatment for marijuana cessation in adolescent patients.

From Scar to Regeneration in Wound Healing

Forward-thinking surgeons are looking to regenerative medicine to engineer a living, growing tissue that can replace or repair tissue damaged by trauma and do so while leaving little or no scar.

A Robust Phase 1 Cancer Clinical Trials Program

Carolyn D. Britten, M.D., who has extensive experience in conducting phase 1 trials, heads up the Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program at Hollings Cancer Center. MUSC's investments in building drug discovery infrastructure as well as its strengths in lipidomics, PIM3, and reduction-oxidation make it an attractive site for phase 1 clinical trials.

Sleeping Sickness Drug Protects Against Kidney Disease

Suramin, a decades-old drug historically used for treating sleeping sickness, has been shown to protect again kidney disease in animal models.

The South Carolina Clinical and Translational Institute

MUSC was chosen by the National Institutes of Health to receive a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) to help speed the translation of discovery into care.

Developing Genetic Therapies for Congenital Heart Defects

A homeobox (HOX) gene could well hold the key to future gene therapies for children with congenital heart anomalies.

Addressing Vitamin D Deficiency

Research by Carol Wagner, M.D., and Bruce Hollis, PhD, noted vitamin D researchers, demonstrates the importance of achieving adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy and lactation and questions whether current recommended dosages in these populations are adequate.