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College of Medicine increases NIH research funding by 22 percent

Staff Report | brazell@musc.edu | January 27, 2017

Dr. Hughes-Halbert
Photo by Julia Lynn
Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert recently landed an $8M grant to improve cancer outcomes for minority men.

The pace of research funding and discoveries in the MUSC College of Medicine continued to accelerate in 2016. In an intensely competitive environment, the College of Medicine increased annual National Institutes of Health research funding by 22 percent, for a total of $96,558,858.

Dr. Howard BeckerPhoto by Sarah Pack 
Dr. Howard Becker directs MUSC's Alcohol Research Center, which is testing innovative treatments with the help of a $7M NIH grant. 

Looking at NIH data for federal fiscal year 2016, the COM now ranks 42nd among all U.S. medical schools, jumping five places and positioning MUSC above medical schools at Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest and the University of Florida. MUSC ranks an even more impressive 21st among public medical schools.

MUSC College of Medicine Dean Raymond DuBois, M.D., said this is a landmark achievement and the highest level of extramural funding achieved by the COM since its founding in 1824.

"Congratulations go to our faculty, our students, our staff and our department chairs for this outstanding achievement. In one of the most competitive research environments in the history of the NIH, we have performed extremely well. One of the reasons I decided to join MUSC as the dean of medicine last March is because of its potential to really ramp up our impact and presence on the national scene. We still have more work to do as we continually strive to develop the most innovative and entrepreneurial research programs in the country.”

Dr. Carol Feghali BostwickPhoto by Sarah Pack 
Dr. Carol Feghali Bostwick studies fibrosis. 

Craig Crosson, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research in the COM, said it's gratifying to see how well COM has done. “This dramatic growth represents the accomplishments of many people in the College of Medicine, and results from our efforts over several years to grow research in a strategic, team-based manner. Working together, our researchers are making an impact and addressing the major diseases that affect the citizens of South Carolina, across the country and around the globe.”

Of particular note are several individual departments that showed exceptional results in attaining funding:

Crosson said these results are a validation of the hard work that occurs every day at MUSC, and called the College of Medicine a leader in efforts to advance scientific discoveries and knowledge, which are key elements of the Imagine MUSC 2020 strategic plan.