Three doctoral students in the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy are recipients of the university’s Support to Promote Advancement of Research and Creativity, or SPARC, Graduate Research Grant program. B. Celia Cui, Sarah Davis and Xiaokai Ding have received funding for their research and gain experience that helps prepare them to seek national fellowship and grant awards throughout their academic careers.
Cui’s research focuses on mathematically guided hypothesis testing for DEAD-Box RNA helicase 3-dependent mechanism of RNA localization to stress granules. Davis is examining the effects of HIV-1 Tat protein on the extracellular dopamine dynamics in the inducible Tat transgenic mice using fast cyclic voltammetry. Ding is studying the therapeutic targeting of CDK8/19 in Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the SPARC grant is a merit-based award designed to ignite research and creative excellence across all disciplines at UofSC. The overall objective is to provide support and to encourage outstanding students to pursue exciting research directions during their graduate career. Eligible graduate students can secure up to $5,000 to support their research, creative or other meritorious scholarly project. SPARC funds can be used to pay for salary, supplies and other costs essential to completing and promoting funded projects.
The SPARC program also requires that applicants complete and submit a competitive grant proposal package, providing them with invaluable experience in training in grant proposal development, helping them build the skills and background necessary be competitive in seeking national fellowship awards from federal and private funding sources.