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The Phenomics Center was established as a free standing entity at the Medical University of South Carolina in June of 2005 with resources provided by 2004 South Carolina Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Grant from the National Science Foundation.  The overall goal of the proposal was program development (MUSC Phenomics Center), purchase a small animal 7T MRI for brain imaging, faculty recruitment (functional genomics, bioinformatics, in vivo imaging, developmental physiology) and to facilitate the transition of undergraduate students from SCSU to the MUSC Graduate student program.  in addition, the goal was to help facilitate program development of South Carolina State University (SCSU) in the area of brain computer interface, help develop lab space, equipment purchase, research development, student development, faculty recruitment (neurophsiologist) to make MUSC and SCSU more competitive for federal funding.  In the fall of 2005, the MUSC Phenomics Center was established as a University Center and was provided with $75,000 for 3 years to help facilitate the development of this program.

To date the Center has established the following:

  • Internal Advisory Committee (Implementation Committee, Biweekly)  - The Internal Advisory Committee is charged with the overall establishment of the Center.  
  • Biweekly meetings at MUSC have been ongoing to review progress, screen faculty candidates, determine the barriers to success, determine midpoint corrections
  • Action plans.



Dr. Mark Kindy, Ph.D., PI, Director, Chair , Dept. of  Neurosciences

Helene Benveniste, M.D., Brookhaven National Laboratory

Robert Gourdie, Ph.D., Co-PI, Dept. Cell Biology, MUSC

Steven Blackband, Ph.D., Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Florida

Stevo Bozinovski,  Ph.D., Co-PI, Dept. Computer Science, SCSU

Charles Anderson, Ph.D., Dept. of Computer Science, CSU

Joann Sullivan, Ph.D., Office of Research Development, MUSC

Robert Bilder, Ph.D., Dept. of Computer Science, UCLA, Director, UCLA Center for Cognitive Phenomics

Peggy Schachte, Director, Office of Research Development, MUSC

Craig Henriquez, Ph.D., Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Co-Director, Duke Center for Neuroengineering

The External Advisory Committee was established to oversee the progress of the Phenomics Center and NSF grant.  this internationally recognized group of investigators provides invaluable input into the development of the Center.  The committee meets once per year and is available via e-mail contact to review progress, faculty candidate and make recommendations to the Director.

MUSC ($1M, $700,00 (NSF), $250,00 (SC EPSCoR))

Purchase of a Bruker Small Animal 7T MRI (30 cm bore) (January 2007 setup), renovation of space for MRI ($200,000) provided by the Provost's Office and completion is expected for January 2007.  University Center ($75,000/yr) provided by the Dean's Center Committee and the Provost's Office to facilitate the operations of the Center.  These funds are used for seminar programs, meetings, advisory committee meetings, confocal set up, and the other Center related activities.  Development of Imaging Facility (Drug Discovery Building) which will fall under direction of Phenomics Center and be closely associated with Neuroscience Institute.  

Other Support/Programs

Summer Student Program - The Phenomics Center in conjunction with the Neuroscience Institute and South Carolina EPSCoR Program provided funding for a number of minority undergraduate students to attend the MUSC Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

2005 Summer Undergraduate Neuroscience Students

Kara Richard - UNC - Charlotte, Biology

Nancy Akinyooye - Syracuse University , Biology
Digene Jarido - USC Columbia, Biology Sciences
Kandi Huggins - South Carolina State University , Biology
Anayancia Fludd - South Carolina State University, Biology
Courtni Ages - South Carolina State University, Biology

2006 Summer Undergraduate Neuroscience Students

Brittnee Smith - South Carolina State University, Biology

Courtney Oliphant - South Carolina State University, Biology

Amid Hamidi - South Carolina State University, Chemistry
Makeda Natambu - South Carolina State University, Biology
Lucy Singleton - South Carolina State University, Biology
Jennifer Goodwin, South Carolina State University, Biology

Undergraduate students, Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows - Support is provided to help collaborative efforts between the Phenomics Center and SCSU, and researches at MUSC.  Post-doctoral Teacher Training Program with SCSU, the Department of Neurosciences had one fellow provide teaching to the Computer Sciences Department at SCSU (CT Smothers)

Confocal Microscopy Facility - The Department of Neurosciences has contributed a confocal microscope to the Phenomics Center that will be set up for individuals to use.

SCSU ($150,000 (NSF), $150,000 (SC EPSCoR) - Purchase of a start-up equipment (electrophysiological studies), Renovation of laboratory space (Computer Sciences and Biology) Support for release time for Dr. Bozinovski (Computer Science) for collaboration with MUSC.

Faculty Hire: Elena Bozinovska, M.D., Neurophsiologist - Department of Biology, Expertise in Neurophsiologist and brain function.  Other Activities - Development of Neuroscience Program in Dept. of Biology, Student training in applied computer sciences.  Other Support - Summer student program at MUSC and Post-doctoral teaching training in Neurosciences.

Additional Programs supported by the Phenomics Center - To provide not only a university wide program, but to help facilitate development of research collaborations around the state (important for the NSF grant), the Center provides funds in support of the following programs.  Most of these programs are supported by the Neuroscience Institute, but the Phenomics Center provides some funds to assist in these efforts and to help enhance the research collaborations and expertise in the state.

Brain Awareness  Week

Frontier's in Neuroscience
Georgia/South Carolina Neuroscience Consortium
Center of Economic Excellence in Neuroscience
Neuroscience Grand Rounds

Finally, the Phenomics Center has been striving to develop grants to support the research efforts, teaching, and programmatic efforts.  The Center was supported by the SC EPSCoR program with a Competitive Research Program Grant between MUSC and SCSU to study proteins involved in anticipation.  In addition, as described above, the Center received funding from the SC EPSCoR for the summer student program for 2005 and 2006.   We have submitted a Research Education for Undergraduates (REU) application to NSF for funding the summer program. 

Mark S. Kindy, Ph.D., PI, Director, Chair, Dept. of Neurosciences