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College of Arts and Sciences

CAN Research Center Final Report

Read the Full Report [pdf]

Check out the CAN Research Center's Final Report, which features five years of accomplishments and research contributions from faculty. See a brief summary and highlights of our progress with the bulleted points below!

  • We initially proposed 6 tenure-line faculty hires for this initiative that would strategically target gaps in USC’s expertise for research in autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. We are delighted that through CAN funding a total of 9 tenure-line faculty have started (8) or have committed (1) to joining USC across the College of Engineering & Computing (Drs. O’Reilly & Narayanan), Arnold School of Public Health (Drs. Hogan & Will), Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Education (Dr. Edmunds), College of Arts & Sciences (Drs. Hudac & Welshhans) and School of Medicine (Drs. Hollis & Foster). CAN Center faculty represent nearly the entire breadth of the university with participants from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Education, Engineering & Computing, and Social Work as well as the Arnold School of Public Health and School of Medicine.
  • Despite final EI funding at approximately 40% less than proposed, the 9 CAN Center faculty hires are a third more than our original success benchmark!
  • The CAN Center’s 21 core faculty have been highly successful in bringing new grant funds to USC. CAN core faculty currently have $41.69M in extramural grant funds with another $16.76M in anticipated funds in the coming months (totaling nearly $60M). We hope that you will agree this is a solid return on USC’s $4.8M investment.
  • Our CAN pilot grant program has established new collaborations and brought substantial new research funding to USC, with multiple grant proposals funded, pending or planned.
  • We have submitted two NIH P50 proposals for RFAs targeting autism and associated neurodevelopmental disorders. Neither of these hit, but individual projects from these proposals have been submitted as NIH R01s with two funded and a third pending (1% score for Dr. Bradshaw!).
  • CAN Center core faculty have published 179 manuscripts and book chapters as well as given 134 invited talks on their work.
  • We established several targeted activities to increase collaboration across disciplines, build research programs by supporting new faculty, and promote interdisciplinary training opportunities for our students and fellows.
  • Though not included initially as milestones for this EI, we recognized that community outreach brings the potential for immediate impact to individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders as well as their families. Community outreach events from CAN include hosting a booth at the Soda City Market, the Autism’s Got Talent Show, Columbia Fireflies Autism Awareness Night, Autism Family Fair at EdVenture Museum, a Mindfulness Group for parents of children with autism, and CAN Research Registry.
  • Finally, the new Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience developed by our CAN Center faculty was approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and we welcomed our first class in Fall 2022. There are over 200 majors in the first year, with over 300 students accepted for Fall 2023 (notably, a colleague from Case Western Reserve Univ. recently bragged they have 190 students after 4 years of their major).

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.