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School of Medicine Columbia

New SOM Research Center Launched, Dr. Turley Named Director

Dr. Christine Turley, professor of pediatrics and vice chair for research in the Department of Pediatrics, has been named the director of the Research Center for Transforming Health, a new School of Medicine initiative launching this fall.

“The goal of the Research Center for Transforming Health is improving the health of South Carolinians; to do that we need to make it easier for researchers and clinicians to come together to do research that will have important practical outcomes for patients,” said Dr. Turley.

Evaluating current research efforts, resources and needs will be Dr. Turley’s first priorities. From this work, Dr. Turley expects the Center will begin offering educational programs, mentoring, and logistical support, among other functions during the Center’s first year. The Center is expected to develop over three years, and reach maturity within five years.

The Center will work to connect basic science researchers and clinical researchers to move the School’s research efforts from the bench to the bedside.

“We plan to connect colleagues within the School of Medicine, engage our clinical partners, and connect to researchers across the University, the state, and the nation. If we can bring our population into national studies, then we will be able to leverage the outcomes most rapidly for our patients and state,” said Dr. Turley.

Dr. Turley practices with the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group. She has served on the University of South Carolina School of Medicine faculty as a professor of pediatrics since 2012. She also has been the vice chair for research in the Department of Pediatrics since 2013. Dr. Turley previously served as the Chief Medical Officer for Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC), a statewide health collaborative aimed at transforming South Carolina's public health and economic well-being through research.

She earned her Medical Doctor Degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Fla. She also completed an internship and residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Dr. Turley previously served as a member of the faculty at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

“We see this initiative as the nexus for bringing down silos. We want to engage scientists and physicians in a new way. We are a relatively small medical school, but we have world-class researchers and clinicians. There are opportunities for us to be on the frontier of medical research,” said Dr. Frank Spinale, associate dean for research and graduate education.

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