The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded South Carolina $20
million to establish a statewide alliance in the field of tissue
biofabrication, which could lead to the production of human organs.
“We are trying to build tissue and organs from the inside out, which is
a different approach than anyone has taken,” said lead scientist for
the project, Roger Markwald, Ph.D., MUSC. “First, we want to create a
three-dimensional vascular tree and then the organ. This will allow us
to develop the applications to build many different types of
The alliance includes the state’s three doctoral
granting research universities, Clemson University, MUSC and the
University of South Carolina. Three historically black colleges and
universities, Claflin University, South Carolina State University and
Voorhees College, are included. Furman University and the University of
South Carolina-Beaufort are also members of the alliance.
Two-year technical colleges participating in the research are Denmark
Technical College and Greenville Technical College. Principal
investigator for the award is Jerry Odom, Ph.D., executive director of
the University of South Carolina Foundations. South Carolina Research
Authority will serve as fiscal agent of the award.
“Dr. Markwald is to be congratulated on his leadership of this broadly
based team effort,” said Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., MUSC president.
“South Carolina has brought together strengths from many institutions
and the collective effort has placed us among the leaders nationally in
this important research area.”
The award provides for:
- Expansion of a current MUSC bioprinting program into a statewide Advanced Tissue Biofabrication center
- Recruitment of 22 new faculty with expertise not currently available in South Carolina
- Creation of a global e-community to facilitate the development of sophisticated databases in vascular technology.
of national and international academic industrial collaborations and
the integration of statewide initiatives for workforce development,
education and communication to the general public q
Integration of the alliance’s research with K-12 education to build
South Carolina’s future high-tech workforce. Educational
innovations include development of e-textbooks and new curricula. New
graduate degree programs and postdoctoral and graduate research
training are planned across the state. Training opportunities for South
Carolina’s reporters and journalism students will enable in-depth
reporting of scientific achievements and will enhance science literacy
This NSF award will
connect regional, national and international cyber-networks and support
collaborative e-communities for education in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics.
Other activities will bridge South Carolina’s minority serving programs
and integrate with the science, education, communication and
sustainability plans of the project.
“This is an opportunity to do groundbreaking research to help people
here and around the world,” said John Raymond, M.D., chair of the State
EPSCoR/IDeA Committee (South Carolina Experimental Program to Stimulate
Competitive Research and Institutional Awards) and vice president for
academic affairs and provost at MUSC.
Friday, July 31, 2009