Aug. 6, 2008
CHARLESTON -- As pocketbooks for local communities, individuals and the federal government tighten, and competition for research dollars intensifies, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) continues to race down the road of discovery for new treatments, procedures and cures thanks to record-breaking research funding.
Despite a declining federal budget for biomedical research, MUSC announced today that research-related funding is at an all-time high of $202,082,662 for fiscal year 2008, with $101,177,121 of that amount received from prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and awards. The new numbers represent a growth of approximately $9 million in total research funding from fiscal year 2007. NIH funding increased by $8 million from 2007 to 2008.
"The sustained increase in NIH funding at MUSC during the last three years is particularly noteworthy because of the flat or declining budget at the federal level, and serves as a solid indicator of the quality of programs as all NIH research proposals are peer-reviewed and rigorously evaluated," said Stephen M. Lanier, Ph.D., MUSC Associate Provost for Research and pharmacology professor. "These achievements reflect the sustained effort of many talented faculty, fellows, and students, and also MUSC leadership, state support, increasing program connectivity across the region and the many dedicated people in our research support units," said John Raymond, M.D., MUSC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost.
While local and state economies struggle with signs of a downturn, MUSC's research growth positively impacts the economy as new faculty and staff move to the area and new jobs become available. Lanier said a recent announcement of a planned "new company laboratory incubator" through a partnership with the South Carolina Research Authority, the City of Charleston and MUSC "serves as another platform for the area's growth in life sciences as new companies and licensing agreements spring forth from MUSC technology and research."
MUSC President Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., added that "an important mechanism for continued research growth at MUSC is the state's Centers of Economic Excellence program (CoEE) and the South Carolina Research Infrastructure Act that allows the university to recruit the best scientists to South Carolina and create university-based research centers in areas that will help grow South Carolina's economy and create jobs."
MUSC now has 12 endowed chairs recruited through the CoEE, and three new centers approved for funding later this year. With funds from the South Carolina Research Infrastructure Act, MUSC will break ground this fall on a 100,000 square foot drug discovery building dedicated to interdisciplinary research themes. Immediately adjacent to this building will be another 90,000 square foot research building for programs in cancer genomics and to serve as a home for the South Carolina Bioengineering Alliance with faculty and students from MUSC, USC and Clemson. Continued growth will also stem from rapidly growing programs in MUSC Neurosciences, the Hollings Cancer Center, Ashley River Tower, and faculty recruitment through the CoEE program.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.6 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu or www.muschealth.com.