Stories for Faculty and Staff

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COVID-19 impact: Pandemic alters health care landscape in SC

May 27, 2020, Tenell Felder

UofSC Today reached out to University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia alumni Dr. David Ford and Dr. Cedric Rivers for insight into how COVID-19 has impacted health care in South Carolina, as well as how the state might move forward in upcoming months. Both Ford and Rivers work at hospitals in Columbia, treating patients with COVID-19.

plasma donation

COVID-19 response: UofSC partners with The Blood Connection to collect plasma donations from recovered patients

May 11, 2020

A national study sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Mayo Clinic is examining the use of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, known as convalescent plasma, to treat patients who are currently suffering from the virus. Physicians hope the antibodies in the donor plasma will neutralize the virus in these ill patients and improve outcomes.

Darwin

COVID-19 impact: What does 'survival of the fittest' mean in the coronavirus pandemic?

April 30, 2020, Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, who is the “fittest”? This is a challenging question. But as immunology researchers at the University of South Carolina, we can say one thing is clear: With no effective treatment options, survival against the coronavirus infection depends completely on the patient’s immune response. School of Medicine Columbia professors Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti write for The Conversation about immune response to COVID-19.

Illustration of the DNA helix.

Genetic counseling program produces impactful leaders

February 14, 2020, Margaret Gregory

Alumni of the genetic counseling program at University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia are making a major impact on their field. More than 25 percent of the nation's genetic counseling training programs have had School of Medicine alumni in leadership roles and five programs were founded by South Carolina graduates.

Neema Patel and the Gibbs Family

Scholarship transforms heartbreak into hope

December 11, 2019, Margaret Gregory

In 2002, 8-year-old Wanda Gibbs died after being hit by a car at her bus stop. After her tragic passing, the community came together and launched a fundraising initiative to ensure Wanda’s memory would live on. Their efforts established the Wanda Gibbs Scholarship at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, which was awarded for the first time earlier this year.

James Cutsinger

Professor helped students find the light within

December 02, 2019, Chris Horn

Not many professors inspire lofty tribute. Some we forget and others are scarcely remembered. James Cutsinger, a religious studies professor who taught at the university for 37 years, earned the respect and admiration of students for decades while helping them to achieve the most noble of goals: the ability to think.

women's soccer celebrating with the SEC championship trophy
Dr. Patterson and patient

UofSC center brings health care to those in need

November 20, 2019, Margaret Gregory

In South Carolina, a majority of the 46 counties are considered to be medically underserved. The South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare is working to improve access to quality care through training programs that are helping grow the health care workforce.

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

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.

Maxcy Monument on the UofSC Horseshoe

UofSC's Excellence Initiative launches eight new high-impact projects

April 02, 2019, Jeff Stensland

Eight new research and outreach projects have been selected for funding as a part of the Excellence Initiative, a competitive grant program launched by the Board of Trustees last year to identify and fund proposals with the potential to be transformative and have a lasting impact on the university.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

Johnie Hodge

A dual purpose

March 26, 2018, Megan Sexton

Johnie Hodge is undertaking the challenge of becoming a physician-scientist by earning both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. The number of physician-scientists has steadily declined in recent years, but those who remain are helping translate research discoveries into changes in patient care.

Galen Health Fellows

Galen Fellows

March 19, 2018, Megan Sexton

The first class of Galen Health Fellows arrived on campus in August, a group of more than 450 first-year students with dreams of careers in the health sciences.

Dr. Todd Crump

Committed to Care

February 26, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

Students, faculty members and alumni from the USC School of Medicine are making a difference in the Midlands by volunteering at two local free medical clinics. Students also work to support The Free Medical Clinic financially through the Black Tie White Coat Gala, an annual fundraising event.

joseph parks

Medical researchers work together to improve South Carolina's health

February 08, 2018, John Brunelli

National Council for Behavior Health medical director Joseph Parks will be the keynote speaker at the Integrated Behavioral Health Symposium spearheaded by the College of Social Work. The symposium will be held Monday (Feb. 12) at the Alumni Center.

ultrasound education

The curious case of Marcus Brown

January 09, 2018, Chris Horn

Marcus Brown is a fictional high school student athlete whose medical history is the centerpiece of a teaching module in anatomy and biology courses at 20 middle and high schools that participated in a joint venture with USC’s School of Medicine and the College of Education. The project gives students an interesting case study that guides them through an exploration of various physiological conditions that might have contributed to the star athlete’s untimely death.

Dr. Lawrence Hill

Creating opportunities

November 08, 2017, Megan Sexton

Lawrence Hill arrived in Columbia in the summer of 1977 as a student in the first-ever class at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Now, the Greenville urologist is making a gift to ensure other students will have the same opportunities to receive a top-rate medical education. His planned gifts of $3 million to the School of Medicine Columbia and $3 million to the School of Medicine Greenville will be used for scholarships.

Kandy Velázquez

Easing the pain

October 27, 2017, Alyssa Yancey

Inspired by the loss of her aunt to breast cancer, Kandy Velázquez decided to pursue research on how to ease pain. Velázquez, an alumna of the Arnold School of Public Health and a current post doctoral fellow in the School of Medicine, will receive nearly $1 million from the National Institutes of Health over the next five years to fund her research.

Emily Suski and Lisa Martin

Clinical approach

September 19, 2017, Chris Horn

The School of Law is launching two new legal clinics this academic year. A medicolegal clinic will team law students with medical students, medical residents and physicians to improve health outcomes for pediatric patients, while a domestic violence clinic will focus on protection, advocacy and community education.

nsf grant

USC researchers land $1.3 million grant to enhance STEM education

May 03, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

Researchers from the School of Medicine and College of Education recently received a $1.3 million National Science Foundation grant to study the best ways to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through participation at informal learning sites.