NIH grants $10.5 million to Clemson researchers


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently provided a $10.5 million financial boost to researchers at Clemson University.

The researchers are a team dedicated to the study of organisms that cause infections diseases. The award, a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant, will be used to fund research at Clemson's Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center (EPIC). The pathogens being studied there cause such diseases as amoebic dysentery, African sleeping sickness and fungal meningitis.

Through the grant, five junior faculty members, four research technicians, 11 Ph.D. graduate students and administrative personnel will be able to work on the studies.

“This grant is a force multiplier for advancing research by positioning our junior faculty and young investigators to compete for complementary funding and by enhancing collaboration between other programs at Clemson,” Lesly Temesvari, biological sciences professor and EPIC co-founder, said.

The grant will also be used to fund the creation of a network of external mentors.

“The mentors’ ultimate goal is to shepherd junior researchers to a point of independence where they can secure their own funding and make even greater contributions to the science of fighting these diseases,” Kerry Smith, EPIC director and professor of genetics and biochemistry, said.

The COBRE grant program has three phases; each phase carries a set of requirements and goals. Phase I is for the development of research infrastructure; Phase II is for further infrastructure improvements and continuing support; and Phase III is for maintaining the research developed during Phases I and II.

"EPIC is a stellar example of Clemson researchers from different disciplines coming together to tackle scientific problems that plague the world,” Tanju Karanfil, VP for research at Clemson, said. “The award highlights the great research taking place here, and the hard work and dedication of many faculty, students and staff. We are delighted to receive our second COBRE, and are excited about the good things that will come from further research.”

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