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College of Pharmacy


Pilot Grant Program

The Center for Targeted Therapeutics (CTT) offers a program of small pilot grants to encourage USC and MUSC faculty to conduct research on targeted therapeutics, utilizing support from at least one of the CTT core facilities.

Grant Application Topics

Topics for pilot grant applications include:

  • identification and/or validation of novel molecular targets for the treatment of a disease
  • designing/discovering new prototype drugs (of any chemical nature) acting on a defined molecular target
  • targeted drug delivery
  • design and laboratory testing of novel drug combinations based on the drug target’s biology

Pilot project applications are solicited once a year before the spring. All the applications undergo peer review, and the winners are selected by the External Advisory Committee.

2017-2018 Pilot Projects

Seungjin Shen, Ph.D. 

Research Associate Professor
Project:  Identification of novel targets which can enhance PARP1 inhibitor therapy.

2016-2017 Pilot Projects

Claudia Grillo, Ph.D. 
Research Associate Professor
Project: Leptin-sensitive raphe neurons as a potential novel target for obesity treatment.

2015-2016 Pilot Projects

Pavel Ortinski, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor,
Project: Mg2+-insensitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors as target in cocaine dependence.

Boris Kantor, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, USC School of Medicine
Director of the Vector Core
Project: Designing inducible CRISPR-CAS vector system for validation of COPZ1 gene, as a novel target for anticancer intervention.

Gabor Szalai, Ph.D. 
Research Associate Professor
Department of Drug Discovery, College of Pharmacy
Project: Evaluation of the Peromyscus leucopus panel for pharmacogenomics studies.

2014-2015 Pilot Projects

Ho-Jin Koh, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Project: TRB3: A Novel Mediator for Denervation-induced Muscle Atrophy

Rekha Patel, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Pharmacy
Project: PKR inhibitory peptides for treatment of type 2 diabetes and other chronic inflammatory conditions

Georgi Petkov, Ph.D. 
Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
Project: Identification and validation of KCNQ channels as novel molecular targets for the treatment of overactive bladder and urinary incontinence.