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Top stroke researcher recruited to MUSC

One of the country’s leading researchers in the field of neurodegeneration will lead the $25 million clinical trial on stroke prevention center at MUSC.
The Neuroscience endowed chair, Marc Chimowitz, M.D., will lead research targeting age-related problems including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.
“Dr. Chimowitz is a highly honored researcher who will be an integral part of training a new generation of clinical neuroscientists,” said John Raymond, M.D., MUSC provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are enthusiastic about the contributions to MUSC Excellence that he will make in regard to research, education and clinical care.”
The highly touted recruit by the S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE), Chimowitz formerly served as associate neurology professor at Emory University where he completed a $14 million clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of warfarin versus aspirin for preventing stroke in patients with narrowed brain arteries. Prior to Emory, he was assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan. He completed a neurology residency at Tufts University as well as a cerebrovascular fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and a research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his medical degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Chimowitz is the recipient of a Career Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for his mentoring of junior faculty members toward clinical research careers.
At MUSC, the neurological research he will lead includes a clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health that is among the largest extramural research grants in South Carolina history. The study will involve patients at more than 50 sites across the country.
Chimowitz and his colleagues will examine the value of using stents to prevent strokes in patients whose brain arteries have hardened and narrowed due to plaque buildup (atherosclerotic stenosis).
“In Dr. Chimowitz, the CoEE Program has recruited one of the country’s foremost researchers in clinical stroke research,” said Paula Harper Bethea, who chairs the CoEE Review Board. “He already has brought substantial research dollars to the state, and in time his work could affect the lives of countless South Carolinians and people around the world who are at risk of stroke.”
Stroke research is especially relevant in South Carolina, which has the nation’s second-highest mortality rate in stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This area of research also is significant for South Carolina due to a projected boom in its population of those 65 years and older from 12 percent in 2000 to 22 percent by 2030, according to U.S. Census Bureau.
The CoEE is a component of MUSC’s Neuroscience Institute and also works in collaboration with the MUSC Center on Aging. The CoEE has partnered with Cure Parkinson’s Project, a non-profit corporation devoted to curing Parkinson’s disease; and has also supported the creation of SemiAlloGen Inc., a biotechnology company that develops therapeutics in the field of neurodegenerative disorders and cancer.
MUSC’s Stroke Center is considered among the best in the country with a prestigious team of accomplished clinicians and researchers.


Friday, May 2, 2008
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