MUSC awarded approximately $29 million in stimulus funds

Heather Woolwine

Oct. 12, 2009

MUSC awarded approximately $29 million in stimulus funds

More than 70 grants from National Institutes of Health bolster research funding

CHARLESTON -- The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) successfully competed for and has been awarded $28.7 million in economic stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Studies or programs funded by ARRA run the proverbial gamut, from basic science work at the cellular level, to student training and faculty recruitment, to human clinical trials to improve patient therapies and partnerships with communities to improve health outcomes.

MUSC Associate Provost for Research Stephen M. Lanier, Ph.D., described the overall achievement of the university's research community as having a significant impact on the community through new and retained jobs, better health care knowledge and applied health care technologies. MUSC has received the largest number of NIH-ARRA grants of any institution in South Carolina. "We not only had a responsibility to compete for these funds, but we also have a responsibility to society to deliver on what we've proposed. We took the process and its resulting responsibility to the taxpayers, the university and our state very seriously," Lanier said.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) received $10.4 billion earlier this year as part of ARRA. NIH then developed a number of different funding opportunities for this investment in science and technology as part of the larger economic stimulus program, including:

• Supplements to currently funded programs (Administrative Supplements, Competitive Revisions, Education and Research Training Opportunities);

• Targeted funding of high priority and high impact areas (Challenge Grants and Grand Opportunities);

• Instrumentation (Shared Instrument Grants, High End Instrumentation);

• Faculty recruitment;

• Research infrastructure (Construction and Facilities Renovation); and

• Payment of previously reviewed meritorious grant proposals that they were not able to previously fund.

MUSC competed in each funding category, submitting a total of more than 300 applications and seeking approximately $114 million. MUSC continues to wait for the completion of the review process and pending notification of award status for $38 million for research infrastructure and $6.5 million for shared research instrumentation.

"Faculty members throughout the entire Medical University community worked very hard to bring in these badly needed resources. The high rate of success reflects the quality of their work as judged by their peers throughout the country. At a time of declining state appropriations, these funds are especially critical," said Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., MUSC president.

MUSC researchers worked almost nonstop from April until July on applications, often keeping research offices open on the weekends to meet Monday morning deadlines, and in addition to their regular duties. The massive internal undertaking from meetings and seminars to actual grant submission speaks to the synergy of the research community at MUSC. "This is an incredible accomplishment and reflects what can be achieved by a committed team," said Peggy Schachte, MUSC Office of Research Development director and associate professor. "The results of the research jumpstarted by stimulus funds will contribute to the local economy right now, but more importantly, they will contribute to better health and quality of life for South Carolinians for a long time to come."

Due to the large and diverse nature of the MUSC grants funded through the NIH-ARRA, grant descriptions by category are available on request. For a list of all NIH-ARRA awards go to:

About MUSC

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 or