Researchers are key to NCI designation
A National Cancer Institute designation is reserved for the best cancer
centers with the best researchers in the country. Hollings Cancer
Center has 100 research scientists, but several researchers had a
direct influence on NCI’s decision to award this distinction to HCC.
The following are among those listed in the NCI grant application in
Melanie Thomas, M.D.
Associate professor, HCC associate clinical director, and Grace E. DeWolff professor of Medical Oncology.
Thomas is the 20th researcher recruited to South Carolina through the
state’s Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE) Program; and she is the
first female endowed chair.
“I came here because of the huge potential that HCC can provide more
clinical trials for patients in South Carolina, because the Clinical
Trials Office is outstanding, and we have great clinical groups working
in all types of cancer, and the Clinical Trials Network. The NCI
designation is a recognition that Hollings Cancer Center is among the
leading cancer research centers in the United States.”
Steve Rosenzweig, Ph.D.
director of graduate training in the Department Cell and Molecular
Pharmacology; assistant director of shared resources
“It is deeply gratifying to have participated in attaining
NCI-designation for HCC. It represents the fulfillment of many years of
focused, hard work and sacrifice by a number of talented individuals
who shared a common vision. My research efforts will significantly
benefit from the availability of cutting edge shared resources that are
the cornerstone of a NCI-designated Cancer Center Support Grant.”
Dan Fernandes, Ph.D., D.Sc
Professor, Department of Biology and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine
“NCI designation can be considered the seal of approval from the
federal government that the Hollings Cancer Center is at the forefront
in basic cancer research, the translation of laboratory findings into
innovative cancer treatments and in the delivery of state-of-the art
Yusuf Hannun, M.D.
of basic sciences; Ralph F. Hirschman Professor of Biomedical Research;
HCC deputy director; chair of the Department of Biochemistry and
“The NCI designation is given to institutions that have demonstrated
the highest commitment to cancer research and cancer medicine. The
criteria are very rigorous, and require years of hard work to meet the
goals set by the NCI. At MUSC, we have developed a vibrant program in
cancer medicine that encompasses basic research, translational research
for applying and translating basic discoveries, and clinical research
and clinical medicine aimed at advancing the fight against cancer. This
has required a concerted team effort with many participants from across
campus and the various departments. For academic investigators and
clinicians at MUSC, the NCI designation reinforces the excellence of
medicine and research at MUSC, making for an exciting and collaborative
environment in which to conduct research and practice medicine at the
Marvella Ford, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Biostatistics Bioinformatics and Epidemiology and associate director of cancer disparities
“As a scientist, NCI designation means that I am now a researcher and
faculty member in an institution that has received national recognition
as a leader in cancer-related scientific discovery and cancer patient
care. Increased funding opportunities will now be available to
researchers at MUSC.”
Anthony Alberg, Ph.D.
Associate professor of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology; Blatt Ness Endowed Chair of Oncology
“NCI-designation will accelerate our efforts to address the cancer
problem in South Carolina on many fronts. This is the net result of the
time and effort of many over a long period. I am appreciative to Dr.
Andrew Kraft and the university leadership. This is only our first step
toward the ultimate goal of becoming a comprehensive cancer center,
which will entail continuing to develop our Cancer Prevention and
Control Program during the coming years so that it can achieve the high
ratings the Hollings Cancer Center did to achieve this prestigious
Lina Obeid, M.D.
Professor of Medicine; Joint Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology; Staff Physician, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center; associate
director of the Medical Science Training Program
“This designation is very exciting and many people have worked for
years to get it. It’s important for the institution as it puts us on
the national map as an institution doing cutting edge research in
cancer. It is very exciting for me to be able to contribute to this
effort and to know that in I contributed in part to making HCC a
designated cancer center.”
Friday, March 6, 2009