Stories for Faculty and Staff

2015 flood

Disaster research

July 29, 2019, Megan Sexton

From a thousand-year flood to deadly hurricanes, South Carolina is no stranger to disasters. That’s why University of South Carolina researchers are working to better understand why dams fail, how to quickly map disaster areas and ways to improve how people with disabilities navigate natural disasters.

Alexandra Vezzetti

First class of UofSC physician assistant graduates helping improve healthcare access

July 19, 2019, Alyssa Yancey

Alexandra Vezzetti was in the first class of physician assistant students at the School of Medicine and the first PA student to rotate through the neurology department at Prisma Health. Department Chair Souvik Sen, M.D., was so impressed with Vezzetti that he hired her, and next month, she’ll become the department’s first physician assistant.

Tarak Patel

Addiction center expands medical students' knowledge

June 18, 2019, Alyssa Yancey

Tarak Patel, a second-year medical student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, had witnessed the devastation of addiction while volunteering at hospitals and free clinics, but he only had a surface-level understanding of the complexities of the issue. That changed earlier this summer when Patel participated in the Summer Institute for Medical Students (SIMS) at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, Minnesota.

Tarak Patel

Patient-centered approach deepens medical students' understanding of addiction

June 18, 2019, Alyssa Yancey

Tarak Patel, a second-year medical student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, had witnessed the devastation of addiction while volunteering at hospitals and free clinics, but he only had a surface-level understanding of the complexities of the issue. That changed earlier this summer when Patel participated in the Summer Institute for Medical Students (SIMS) at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, Minnesota.

Katy Pilarzyk in the lab

Brain Power

May 23, 2019, Alyssa Yancey

Second-year Ph.D. candidate Katy Pilarzyk was one of three University of South Carolina students awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship this year. She will use her funding to continue her work in Michy Kelly’s lab at the School of Medicine Columbia. The lab studies the inner workings of the brain to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying social and cognitive deficits.

Project Hope

Cause for hope

April 03, 2019, Chris Horn

When Wendy Rothermel’s son Cade was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, her family life was upside down, punctuated by his frequent temper tantrums. But when the family connected with Project HOPE and Cade’s therapy began, positive changes followed. The nonprofit foundation, launched by two university alumnae, is bringing hope to families across the state.

antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The growing resistance

February 12, 2019, Chris Horn

Antibiotic resistance, a public health threat that already endangers millions worldwide, is on track to become a much deadlier problem in the years ahead. Part of the challenge, says a University of South Carolina public health scientist, is that bacterial resistance to antibiotic medications is fostered not only in clinical settings but also in the environment.

Cheedy Jaja and child at Sierra Leone clinic

Committed to service

February 08, 2019, Laura Kammerer

At the height of the Ebola epidemic in 2014, Cheedy Jaja traded the relative comforts of American health care practice for Tyvek bodysuits and chlorine baths. Now the Sierra Leonean native is committed to a new mission: to bolster the early diagnosis and treatment of sickle cell disease in children.

Aalia Soherwardy

Fast track to success

December 14, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

The BARSC-MD program, a joint initiative between the University of South Carolina Honors College and the USC School of Medicine, allows a select group of students to complete an undergraduate degree and their medical degree in just seven years. The students receive conditional acceptance to medical school as freshmen, and then enter medical school after their third year of undergraduate coursework.

Saurabh Chatterjee

Gut feeling

November 07, 2018, Chris Horn

In the nearly 30 years since the first Gulf War in Kuwait and Iraq, medical professionals have struggled to identify the cause for symptoms collectively referred to as Gulf War illness that have persisted among a quarter-million military veterans. Saurabh Chatterjee can’t identify the cause, but he thinks his research team at USC’s Arnold School of Public Health has found the locus of medical dysfunction.

Susan Wood

Stressed out

July 20, 2018, Page Ivey

We’ve all heard the health warnings about stress, but just how, exactly, does stress damage a healthy person? And what is it that allows some people to be resilient while others exhibit a vexing trail of cytokines, inflammation and other biochemical responses to trauma and other stressors? School of Medicine researcher Susan Wood is trying to figure out just that.

cancer research

Heating up cancer treatment research

July 12, 2018, Annika Dahlgren

Researchers with the College of Engineering and Computing have created a new way to destroy cancer cells in two days. The research team — made up of electrical engineering professor Seongtae Bae, postdoc fellow Jung-tak Jang and undergrad (Eric) Sang Hoon Ju — uses a nanomaterial and an alternating current (AC) magnetic field generator to super heat the cells.

Black hawk helicopter over campus on Engineering Day

Big data to the rescue

June 26, 2018, Chris Horn

University of South Carolina researchers across multiple disciplines are putting data analytics to work to tackle an array of real-world challenges — from keeping helicopters flying safely to improving health care and detecting deadly fungal outbreaks in corn.

Student in lab

No rest for the curious

June 22, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

Over the last few years the University of South Carolina's School of Medicine has doubled its summer research opportunities for rising second-year medical students. This year more than half of the Class of 2021 (M.D.) applied for the program, and 24 students are currently completing research experiences in clinical and translational research.

migraine illustration

No pain, no migraine

June 21, 2018, Chris Horn

Michelle Androulakis understands the debilitating pain of migraine headaches and is looking for ways to help fellow sufferers. The neurologist and med school professor has conducted clinical trials for a non-invasive migraine procedure involving a tiny nasal catheter as well as for a new migraine drug.

Karen McDonnell

Breakthrough Star: Karen McDonnell

June 15, 2018, Julie Smith-Turner

Karen McDonnell didn’t want to be a nurse. In fact, she turned down a nursing scholarship after high school in favor of studying biology and chemistry. After graduation, she went to work in a research lab. Although she enjoyed her work, something about it didn’t quite fit. That’s when McDonnell discovered her true calling in a most unusual place.

Scott Salters

No dream too big

May 09, 2018, Page Ivey

Scott Salters thought his dream of being a physician in his hometown of Greenville — helping folks and being a role model for other young black men — was too big a dream. Now after two years at Carolina, Salters graduates in May with leadership distinction, a long list of accomplishments and activities, and a plan to attend medical school.

Brooks Herring

A perfect ending

May 09, 2018, Marjorie Riddle Duffie

While he was an undergraduate, Brooks Herring worked tirelessly to improve the student veteran experience at the University of South Carolina, while also maintaining a perfect GPA, being a father to two sons, working part time as a bartender and personal trainer, regularly performing as a solo singer/guitarist and taking on multiple leadership roles on campus.

Mitzi Nagarkatti

Breakthrough Leader: Mitzi Nagarkatti

April 27, 2018, Chris Horn

When Mitzi Nagarkatti joined the School of Medicine as chair of pathology, microbiology and immunology in 2005, the department was bringing in about $600,000 a year in NIH funding, 81st among all such departments across the nation. The department now garners some $9.5 million per year in NIH grants (No. 17 in the country) and Nagarkatti continues to build research capacity not only in that unit but in the entire School of Medicine and across the university.

South Carolina Sunset

Building a healthier South Carolina

April 20, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

The staff of the SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare at the USC School of Medicine is working to improve access to care in rural South Carolina. Created with state funding in 2017, the center has a number of initiatives underway, including a loan program to encourage health profession students to practice in rural settings, research grant programs and partnerships helping put providers on the ground in critical need areas.