Presbyterian College Awarded Nearly $775,000 from SC INBRE

Presbyterian College Awarded Nearly $775,000 from SC INBRE

Presbyterian College is proud to announce that the College has received a five-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant as a member of the South Carolina IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE) with total direct and indirect costs of nearly $775,000 allocated to PC.

The goal of the SC INBRE network is to increase the biomedical research capacity of the state by programmatic expansion and networking of research activities of faculty and students at academic institutions throughout the state. SC INBRE is a major grant with components located at 13 institutions of higher education in the state, including the three research institutions – the University of South Carolina (USC), Clemson University, and the Medical University of South Carolina, with USC serving as the lead institution.

Dr. Lucia Pirisi-Creek, professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology at the USC School of Medicine in Columbia, is the principal investigator of SC INBRE, and a supporter of PC and research endeavors throughout the state. Her involvement was critical in securing the SC INBRE grant.

“SC INBRE is a network of institutions that collaborate with one another to promote their research and training programs, and provide their students with excellent opportunities for hands-on research training,” said Dr. Pirisi-Creek. “At Presbyterian College, SC INBRE will augment the Biomedical Research infrastructure, helping to improve the research facilities and providing support for researchers and their students.”

Specifically, the PC component of SC INBRE will: Sponsor undergraduate and pharmacy faculty members for summer research; sponsor student researchers with a stipend; provide each faculty sponsor with funds for supplies and/or small equipment; reward students with travel funds to present their research; cover renovations to the PC animal facility, as well as research instrumentation; and provide opportunities for the career development of faculty.

The grant officially began July 10, 2015, and will continue until June 30, 2020. The grant is one of the largest PC has ever received from the federal government. Dr. Cliff Fuhrman, dean of the PC School of Pharmacy, said that receiving the grant is a “win-win for the faculty and students of the College. It’s intended to benefit both the Pharmacy School and the Arts and Sciences undergraduate campus.”  Dr. Fuhrman believes that the projects completed utilizing this funding from the SC-INBRE grant will help PC students and faculty to develop data that can then be used to stimulate other projects and lead the College to additional funding opportunities for faculty and student research.

Dr. Scott Asbill, department chair and professor of pharmaceutical and administrative  sciences at PC, is a primary investigator on this grant. He believes the SC-INBRE grant is a “great opportunity to move research at [PC] forward and to help build the research infrastructure.” Dr. Asbill reiterates, “It’s so important for faculty and students to have these opportunities.”

In addition to Dr. Asbill, other investigators on the grant include Dr. Alfonso Romero-Sandoval, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and director of research. Confirming Dr. Fuhrman’s statement that the grant was a collaborative effort from PC’s entire faculty, Dr. James T. Wetzel, Pulaski L. Bealy Smith Professor of Biology; Dr. Alicia Askew, associate professor of psychology and chair of department; and Dr. Latha Gearheart, professor of chemistry, were also integral to the development of this grant.

The College plans to send out a call for SC INBRE Summer Research Fellowships during the 2015 fall semester.

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The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy is a fully accredited four-year institution that was founded in Clinton, South Carolina in 2010. With a vision to be a national leader in pharmacy education, scholarship and service, PC’s School of Pharmacy is the Upstate of South Carolina’s only accredited pharmacy institution and proudly graduated its first class in May 2014.