Stories for Students

John Doering-White

Meet new faculty: John Doering-White

November 04, 2019, Craig Brandhorst

John Doering-White became interested in immigration issues as an undergraduate and followed his research interests to Mexico as a graduate student. Now an associate professor at the University of South Carolina with a joint appointment in social work and anthropology, he hopes his research will contribute to the development of a more humane immigration system in the both the United States and Mexico.

physician empathy

Researchers use virtual reality videos to help medical students cultivate compassion

October 07, 2019, Chris Horn

Gaining insight into a patient’s concerns and feelings is essential for positive clinical interactions between patients and physicians and better health outcomes. To help foster empathy in medical students, researchers at the School of Medicine Greenville are testing virtual reality videos.

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.

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.

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.

Clark West and Elliott Mitchell

Shared Commitment

November 16, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

Inspired by the University of South Carolina's inclusive environment, donors Clark West and Elliott Mitchell agreed to establish a $500,000 endowment to support scholarships for USC School of Medicine students. West and Mitchell also established a $500,000 endowment to support scholarships for students attending associate degree-granting institutions in South Carolina who wish to transfer to one of the Palmetto State’s baccalaureate-granting colleges or universities, including USC.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Parastoo Hashemi

Breakthrough Star: Parastoo Hashemi

April 20, 2018, Chris Horn

Parastoo Hashemi wants to know what's going on inside our heads — neurochemically speaking, that is — and she and her research team are well on their way toward figuring out how to do it. Her pioneering research on measuring neurochemical levels in the brain have far-reaching implications for treatment of depression and other neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

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.