MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants Catalyst PDF File MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause

MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


SCCP faculty gets No. 3 ranking in landing NIH research funding

The South Carolina College of Pharmacy faculty is one of the most productive in the country, judging by the success of its research faculty in getting National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Recently released rankings by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy show the college to be No. 3 nationally in percent of research faculty with NIH funding.

NIH funding is a common yardstick for measuring excellence in academic quality. The South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) ranked 17th overall in the country, out of more than 120 colleges of pharmacy.

"The creation of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy was intended to increase productivity, leverage resources and ultimately enhance quality to be on par with the best pharmacy colleges in the country," said Joseph T. DiPiro, executive dean of SCCP. "Successful researchers are at the forefront of knowledge and they bring that knowledge, to the classroom, giving our students a better education. Our productivity matches the best in the U.S. and among colleges we compare favorably with now reflect how high the bar has been raised … and we'll keep raising it."

Since 2005, when the college was created by the integration of the pharmacy colleges at University of South Carolina (USC) and MUSC, the SCCP has climbed steadily in NIH funding (see graph). At 17th, the SCCP is now ranked ahead of a number of nationally-recognized pharmacy programs commonly considered as among the country's best, including Ohio State, Florida, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky and Purdue.

The success of the research faculty is a significant contributor; the only programs in the country with a higher percent of Ph.D. faculty with NIH funding than the SCCP are University of California-San Diego and the University of California-San Francisco. More than 50 percent of SCCP's research faculty is funded.

"We have recruited and retained a highly motivated, highly successful and collegial group of research faculty," said Rick Schnellmann, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences. "Their work plows new ground, much of which has a chance to be rich in discovery that leads to new science. I think the NIH recognizes that and is supportive because the return on the investment could be significant."


Key pharmacy faculty researchers


Rick Schnellman

Rick Schnellmann, whose research focuses are directed toward understanding the signaling pathways of cell injury, death (apoptosis and necrosis) in epithelial and cancer cells, and regeneration of epithelial cells following injury

John Lemasters John Lemasters, CoEE endowed chair for cell injury, death and regeneration, whose research interests concern the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying hypoxic and toxic injury to liver and heart cells and organs stored
for transplantation surgery
Charles Smith Charles Smith, Charles and Carol Cooper Chair in Pharmacy, whose main interests relate to cancer pharmacology, with focus on studying the molecular mechanisms of action of established and experimental anticancer drugs and on designing and developing new drugs against novel molecular targets
Patrick Woster

Patrick Woster, a new South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE) endowed chair in drug discovery, whose primary research program involves the synthesis and evaluation of polyamine-containing analogues as potential therapeutic agents

Kim Creek Kim Creek, vice chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, whose work on health disparities includes being co-principal investigator on a grant to fund a Center of Excellence in the Social Promotion of Health Equity Research, Education and Community Engagement

For information on the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, visit, call 792-3740 (MUSC campus), 803-777-4151 (University of South Carolina campus in Columbia) or call 800-846-8896.


Friday, March 4, 2011

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.