ORANGEBURG, S.C. – SC State University was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $6.2 million by the National Cancer Institute, to establish the South Carolina Disparities Research Center. A portion of the total $12.5 million award will fund the Medical University of South Carolina’s cancer disparities research. The two universities will collaborate on this project.
SC State will partner with the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and its Mabry Cancer Center to create a biorepository at the new research center on the campus of SC State. This biorepository will be the first to store solely African American biological tissue for cancer studies. The partnership will also establish the first clinical trials office at the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg for patients with prostate cancer.
The goal of the research center is to improve SC State’s ability to complete effective cancer research and to focus on examining cancer disparities within the areas of prostate and breast cancer. The grant will also allocate funds to create an honors research curriculum, which will allow students to obtain certification in health disparities research. The center will provide an opportunity for the new generation of researchers to train, inform the general public and contribute knowledge to a research field that affects the lives of many.
Serving as SC State’s principal investigator for this project, is Dr. Judith Salley-Guydon, the chairwoman of the university’s Department of Biological and Physical Sciences. She believes that this grant will take SC State’s cancer research to new, necessary heights.
“These funds will enable us to explore in depth, the cancer disparities that surround our communities and beyond. With a new, cutting-edge facility, we hope to yield results that ultimately improve the health disparities that many individuals endure,” said Salley-Guydon.
“I’d like to point out that African American men in Orangeburg and across the nation, suffer disproportionately, from prostate cancer. We’re hoping that this research has a positive impact on their quality of life as well. With such a talented and passionate team collaborating on this project, I know that we will accomplish these goals and much more,” she continued.
Dr. Marvella Ford, a public health sciences professor and researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Hollings Cancer Center, serves as the principal investigator for MUSC’s cancer disparities research. Additionally, she was recently named SmartState endowed chair for prostate cancer research at SC State University.
This grant is the first of its kind in the state of South Carolina. With the establishment of the South Carolina Disparities Research Center, global research scientists will be able to obtain samples from SC State’s biorepository.