MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsCatalyst PDF FileMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause

MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


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 2008.

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.
Professor and 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 patient care.”

Yusuf Hannun, M.D.
Associate director of basic sciences; Ralph F. Hirschman Professor of Biomedical Research; HCC deputy director; chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
“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 highest standards.”

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 designation.”

Lina Obeid, M.D.
Boyle Chair 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

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.