Pharmacy school wins $11.3 million research grant

July 25, 2014

The University of South Carolina has won an $11.3 million federal grant to research drugs to treat diseases from diabetes to cancer, the school recently announced.

The University of South Carolina (USC) has won an $11.3 million federal grant to research drugs to treat diseases from diabetes to cancer, the school recently announced.

The five-year grant is from the National Institute of Health's Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence. It will be used to create the Center for Targeted Therapeutics, a research center at the USC’s College of Pharmacy. Its first research projects will concentrate on cancer and neurological diseases.

"The big pharmaceutical companies are not doing the type of research we can do in a university setting," said USC Pharmacy Professor Igor Roninson. "This grant is recognition that the most promising pharmaceuticals-ones that provide more effective approaches to hard-to-treat diseases-are now being discovered in academic labs through multidisciplinary collaborations, before they are picked up by big pharma."

Specifically, USC officials said the grant would be used to research new drugs that target the underlying causes of diseases on a molecular level without the adverse side effects common to traditional pharmaceuticals; provide mentorship by senior scientists to junior faculty; recruit at least six new top-tier junior faculty with a wide range of scientific expertise; and provide competitive pilot grants to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration across research fields.