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College of Pharmacy

ACS Institutional Research Grant Funds Awarded

Posted on: July 27, 2020


As the recipient of the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant, Professor Charles Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., director of the SmartState Center for Medication Safety and Efficacy, announces four awards totaling $90,000 to researchers at the University of South Carolina:

The goal of the ACS IRG is to attract beginning investigators into cancer research and support the initiation of promising new cancer research projects by independent, self-directed junior faculty members.  This seed money enables UofSC to provide three, one-year pilot research grants annually to beginning investigators in cancer research who have no national competitive research grant support. The awards resulting from the ACS IRG provide an opportunity for these researchers to obtain data that will allow them to successfully compete for peer-reviewed extramural cancer research grants. The review of applications and allocation of awards is managed through the College of Pharmacy using a peer-review process.

The uniqueness of the UofSC ACS IRG is that the university does not have an overly strong cancer center ... but instead draws its cancer researchers from disciplines that are rarely included in traditional cancer centers, such as journalism, engineering, arts and sciences.

Charles Bennett, M.D., Ph.D.  SmartState Center for Medication Safety & Efficacy

The ACS IRG has focused on three disciplines over the past several years - basic science, clinical science, and out-of-the-box applications with a desire for awards to be as diverse as possible. This year’s awards will support a variety of areas including public health; arts and science, pharmacy and engineering. “The uniqueness of the UofSC ACS IRG is that the university does not have an overly strong cancer center and does not have an NCI designated cancer center,” Bennett says, “but instead draws its cancer researchers from disciplines that are rarely included in traditional cancer centers, such as journalism, engineering, arts and sciences in particular.”

The grantees and projects include a novel social media analysis for side effects of drugs administered to cancer patients, a study to address smoking cessation among Latinos, a collaboration between pharmacy and dentists for human papillomavirus (HPV) prevention, and an analysis of underuse of breast cancer genetic tests by African American women.

This year the four top applications were outstanding and a first-time ever decision was made to fund all four.

Charles Bennett, M.D., Ph.D. SmartState Center for Medication Safety & Efficacy

The review committee, also called the study section, reviewed nine applications and would normally award three grants, but Bennett noted the pool of applicants was one of the most well-rounded. “This year the four top applications were outstanding and a first-time ever decision was made to fund all four,” Bennett says.

Bennett says the study committee is grateful for the input received by the ACS IRG. “The study section strongly thanked the American Cancer Society for providing input related to cancer patients, something that happens at national meetings of ACS Study Sections as well,” Bennett says. “We appreciate the support of the ACS in providing funding resources for our research initiatives.”


 


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