Wednesday, November 11, 2009

State Research on the Rise

Now it is going to be easier for patients who want to participate in potentially life-saving clinical research trials in South Carolina to find it easier to do thanks to a $4.8 million NIH grant awarded to the University of South Carolina’s Center for Healthcare Quality.

Dr. Jay Moskowitz, President and CEO of Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC), the grant’s principal investigator, reports that with the grant award, patients will soon be able to find clinical trials at HSSC partner organizations, provide informed consent, protect their privacy, and receive notifications of future trials related to their condition. They will also have the option of donating discarded tissue samples to research studies.

In another effort to produce more effective research, the Center for Healthcare Quality’s Center of Economic Excellence (CoEE) was established with state funds. In addition, there was a private match from HSSC and by The Duke Endowment. The CoEE authorizes the state’s three public research institutions, Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina to do research that will lead to commercialization.

CoEE’s goal is to develop technology-based tools, to help people prevent and manage chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, musculoskeletal problems, and the loss of function with aging.

The hope is that research will result in marketable products such as new communications technologies with additional applications for individuals that will result in new concepts for worksites and health systems. Secondly, the products need to include software and information systems for cell phones, smart phones, iPod technologies, and computerized kiosks. Thirdly, the results of the research could help attract new software development, lifestyle coaching, and computer hardware companies to the state with the result that start-up companies would develop based these technologies.

Right now CoEE is soliciting proposals suitable for small seed grant awards to do healthcare associated infection research. Research must show linkages with the HSSC Strategic Plan 2008-11 and the 2009 HHS Research Action Plan for HAIs.

For more information on the small seed grants, email Janet Craig, DHA, RN at or call (864) 422-8302. Proposals may be submitted at any time during the 2009-2010 fiscal years.