USC Upstate invited to be a member of the SC IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence see more
SPARTANBURG — The University of South Carolina Upstate has been invited to be a member of the South Carolina IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE) as a Primarily Undergraduate Institution. As part of the application process, they detailed plans for an eight-week summer research program to support five to six faculty researchers and up to 12 student researchers yearly. If South Carolina is renewed as an IDeA state in 2020, Upstate will receive $500,000 to fund the summer program that they call ER(Up)T (Engaged Research and Training at Upstate) from 2020-2025.
“Investment in the ER(Up)T program will allow USC Upstate to mentor and engage the next generation of biomedical scientists and create a pipeline to increase the number of skilled biomedical professionals in South Carolina,” said Dr. Jeannie Chapman, interim dean of the College of Science and Technology at USC Upstate. “While there is biomedical research being conducted at USC Upstate, the ER(Up)T program will increase our ability to attract and retain more undergraduate students in our laboratories and further enhance the research culture at our institution, particularly amongst underrepresented minorities.”
“This new funding will create a summer research program that offers transformative, high-impact learning experiences for students who wish to pursue a career in biomedical research,” said Dr. Joshua Ruppel, associate professor of chemistry, co-author of the SC INBRE proposal, and ER(Up)T program director. “Over the course of eight weeks, students will conduct research in the laboratory with a faculty mentor and attend a number of research-related activities, including lab meetings about ongoing research, scientific ethics seminars, and graduate school information sessions. The students will be immersed in the culture of basic science research, and they will be provided opportunities that enhance their ability to achieve their career goals.”
According to Chapman, “USC Upstate is uniquely suited to enhance the pipeline of students attending graduate and professional schools in South Carolina. Our student body is primarily composed of S.C. residents (94% of all enrolled students), many of whom choose to stay in South Carolina upon completing their degrees. The research and programming that students will experience through ER(Up)T will increase students’ knowledge of careers in the biomedical sciences, groom them for graduate and professional school, and will ultimately enhance South Carolina’s biomedical industries by way of a better-educated and more scientifically-minded workforce.”
Both Chapman and Ruppel have a clear vision of how creating a summer research program will enhance the biomedical research currently underway at USC Upstate.
“USC Upstate has a vibrant biomedical research program, spearheaded by five faculty in the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering,” Chapman said. “During the past five years, their combined research efforts have resulted in 20 peer-reviewed publications that have included multiple undergraduate co-authors, 46 scholarly presentations, and $652,000 of internal and external funding. While their individual efforts and achievements are impressive, this funding support from SC INBRE allows us to create a cohesive undergraduate research program.”
Current biomedical research at USC Upstate includes:
• Dr. Joshua Ruppel, associate professor of chemistry, received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Program (R15) in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Snyder of Davidson College to support meritorious research, expose students to research, and strengthen the research environment of the institution. His research is used to create and study the interaction of a class of new compounds with a protein associated with certain types of cancer.
• Dr. Bradley Baumgarner, assistant professor of biology, investigates the effect of various xenobiotics on skeletal and cardiac muscle metabolism, growth, and differentiation. In the past five years, his work has been focused on defining the mechanisms by which caffeine promotes macroautophagy and its role in regulating caffeine-dependent protein turnover (protein synthesis/protein degradation) in mammalian skeletal muscle cells.
• Dr. Ginny Webb, assistant professor of microbiology, investigates virulence factors of Cryptococcus neoformans, a facultative intracellular pathogen responsible for the most common cause of fungal meningitis worldwide. She also investigates the transmission of hospital acquired infections, which are a growing public health concern, accounting for 1.7 million infections each year in inpatient or outpatient medical facilities. The research aims to study the mechanisms of transmission of hospital-acquired infections with specific examination of pediatrician outpatient facilities to determine what touch surfaces may harbor pathogenic organisms and therefore potentially serve as a reservoir for harmful microbes.
• Dr. Anselm Omoike, assistant professor of chemistry, investigates the unique magnetic, large surface area, and nontoxic properties of iron oxide nanoparticles (magnetite) in synthesizing materials for drug delivery and biochemical separations. One aim is to coat magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with lysine, producing free surface active amino groups for the delivery of curcumin, a drug with well-established wide ranging chemotherapeutic activities. His other project involves removing allergenic proteins from food products to develop fast and recyclable multilayer magnetic nanoparticles for the removal of major allergens from peanuts and peanut products. This work may contribute to knowledge of the conditions for efficient removal of allergenic proteins from a food system and help produce hypoallergenic peanut products.
• Dr. Kimberly Shorter, assistant professor of biology, investigates the potential negative consequences of excess folic acid consumption and its potential correlation with increases in autism rates. Her lab currently uses a human neuronal cell line as a model for testing the effects of excess folic acid (at a 2x dose) on epigenetic changes (DNA methylation/hydroxymethylation and histone modifications), gene expression changes, and neuromorphological changes (dendritic spines and vesicle trafficking).
SC INBRE is a five-year, $18.2 million renewable grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Grant funds are administered through the University of South Carolina and go to financially supporting biomedical research throughout the State of South Carolina at SC INBRE’s network institutions and outreach institutions.
“We are very pleased to introduce some new faces in the renewal and are excited to see USC Upstate as one of those new faces,” said Cyndy Buckhaults, communications manager with the SC INBRE Program. “USC Upstate has a very active science research component and will be a great fit with the network.”
The Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program broadens the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical research. The program fosters health-related research and enhances the competitiveness of investigators at institutions located in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical, and translational research; faculty development; and infrastructure improvements.
For more information, contact Dr. Jeannie Chapman at 864-503-5768.
About USC Upstate
The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #2 among Top Public Schools. It serves as a major talent producer for the region, with more than 6,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates a year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 17 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference. For more information, visit www.uscupstate.edu.
XLerateHealth partners with Clemson, Coastal Carolina, MUSC on regional biomedical technology accelerator hubState universities partner to create hub to accelerate commercialization of biomedical technologies see more
Industry and academic partners across the region on Thursday announced a federal grant that could potentially total $3.5 million over three years to create a hub to accelerate commercialization of biomedical technologies.
The grant, which includes nearly $500,000 in funding the first year, is being awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
XLerateHealth, LLC, a Louisville-based healthcare technology accelerator that focuses on startups and commercialization, is the primary awardee on the grant. XLerateHealth joined forces with a consortium of 24 academic institutions led by the University of Kentucky (UK), in partnership with the University of Louisville (UofL) and West Virginia University (WVU). Additional participants include Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, and the Medical University of South Carolina. Read on for full details.
Clemson partnership extends reach to India and beyond see more
Clemson University researchers said a new partnership with one of India’s top engineering universities will lead to new medical devices, sensors and startup companies, while helping educate leaders and entrepreneurs for the global healthcare industry.
Clemson is joining with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi to create the Center for Innovative Medical Devices and Sensors.
The long-term vision for the center includes exchanges of faculty members, students and post-doctoral researchers, and to eventually establish joint courses. Some of the first projects will focus on solutions for diabetes and other chronic health issues common to both countries.
The first exchanges could begin as soon as next summer.
Researchers plan to focus on technology that is close to going from the lab to the marketplace, a concept that scholars call translational research. The devices that researchers develop could lead to biomedical start-ups — and the lucrative jobs that come with them– in South Carolina and India, they said.
An advantage to cross-border research is that new technology will be designed to meet regulatory requirements in multiple countries, smoothing the transition to markets around the globe, said Delphine Dean, who is the Gregg-Graniteville Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Clemson.
The collaboration is the latest in a growing number of links between South Carolina and India, a connection that could help build both economies, she said.
“If a company wants to have a landing base to do FDA testing, South Carolina is a great area to do it in,” she said. “We have a lot of resources at the state level, and I think it will help drive economic development. When you go visit IIT Delhi, they know Clemson, and they know South Carolina.”
Dean is coordinating the center with Sandeep K. Jha, an assistant professor in the Centre for Biomedical Engineering at IIT Delhi.
Jha said the joint center with Clemson will be a win-win for both institutions and that they will develop several vital technologies by working together.
“The research and continual development in the field of medical sensors and devices is the need of the hour,” he said. “Most of the conventional technology related to healthcare and diagnostics have gradually been shifted towards automation, miniaturization and cost-effectiveness.
“In this regard, a research collaboration with Clemson University to develop cutting-edge medical technology would be beneficial for India, as it imports the majority of its medical devices and technologies. Medical devices and sensors could also help to meet several critical needs of South Carolina.”
For Clemson students, the opportunity to visit labs and do research in India will encourage global-scale thinking.
“If I were an undergrad, I’d think this was a great opportunity,” Dean said. “You go enjoy an experience in India and then you get your engineering degree. Then you’re a hot commodity for a job.”
IIT Delhi students will be visiting Clemson primarily for research, graduate studies and specialized bioengineering programs. Those programs include the Master of Engineering program and Green MD, an initiative focused on medical device recycling and reprocessing.
One of the attractions for IIT Delhi students is that they will have a chance to work with Clemson faculty who have extensive experience in translational research, said Brij Khorana, the chief scientific advisor for the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences at Clemson.
“By working with these Clemson faculty members, they will have the opportunity to gain entrepreneurial skills and participate in start-up businesses here, and then perhaps some of these students can go back to India and help with the healthcare industry there,” Khorana said. “Over time, this collaboration can just grow and grow.”
Some of the students’ work will be on the main campus, and some will be in Greenville at the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus. The campus, also called CUBEInC, is at Greenville Health System’s Patewood campus.
Clemson’s close connection with clinicians at GHS and Medical University of South Carolina will be appealing to IIT Delhi students, Dean said. Clinicians play a crucial role in guiding research, ensuring that it reflects what happens in real-world hospitals and clinics.
Martine LaBerge, chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson, said the new center will create a unique environment for healthcare education and research.
“The Center for Innovative Medical Devices and Sensors sets the stage for integrative learning and inventing experiences,” LaBerge said. “Students will learn the leadership, entrepreneurial and technical skills they will need to support and enhance a knowledge-based economy.”
The collaboration between Clemson and IIT Delhi brings together two institutions noted for their work in engineering and healthcare.
IIT Delhi was the third highest ranked Indian university in the latest QS World University Rankings. The institute also tied for No. 1 in engineering among Indian universities in the annual “Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities” by National Taiwan University.
Clemson is renowned as the birthplace of the field of biomaterials and was among the first universities in the United States to start a bioengineering program, awarding its first Ph.D. in 1963. The university played a central role in creating the Society for Biomaterials.
Anand Gramopadhye, dean of Clemson’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, said the center will enable transformative research and deepen the talent pool for the healthcare industry.
“By coming together, Clemson and IIT Delhi will be able to accomplish much more than we could apart,” he said. “We are creating the conditions for a wider pipeline between academia and industry, as well as a healthier global society.”
Medical device manufacturer launching new operations in the Upstate; life science boom continues see more
Medical device manufacturer launching new operations in the Upstate
Monday, October 16, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Arthrex, Inc., a global orthopedic medical device company, headquartered in Naples, Fla., is launching new manufacturing operations in Anderson County. The $69 million capital investment is expected to create more than 1,000 new jobs over the next several years.
With a corporate mission aimed at helping surgeons treat patients better, Arthrex is a leader in new product development and medical education in orthopedics. The company is a pioneer in the field of arthroscopy and has developed more than 11,000 innovative products and surgical procedures to advance minimally invasive orthopedics worldwide.
Located at 5500 Highway 76 in Sandy Springs, S.C., Arthrex will be constructing a new 200,000-square-foot facility to manufacture its innovative orthopedic devices and implants. Hiring for the new positions should begin in the next 12 to 18 months, and interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online(link is external).
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.
“Arthrex is pleased to bring its innovative spirit and unique culture to Anderson County, S.C. and we look forward to leveraging the outstanding work done in the area to prepare future employees for high-level manufacturing jobs.” –Arthrex Vice President of Manufacturing Andy Owen
“South Carolina’s business-friendly climate continues to attract companies in every industry, and we’re proud to welcome Arthrex, Inc. to our growing business community. This a milestone for Anderson County, and we can’t wait to see the difference these jobs will make in the region.” –Gov. Henry McMaster
“Not only does our state excel in manufacturing, we’re also increasingly becoming a top choice for companies in the life sciences sector. Arthrex joins an impressive roster of life sciences firms that call South Carolina home, and we look forward to watching them grow in Anderson County for years to come.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“We are absolutely thrilled to begin our partnership with Arthrex. Their precision medical products are used by medical professionals around the globe, and the fact that our citizens have been chosen to make them says volumes about the quality of our workforce as well as the skills training we provide.” –Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn
“This announcement takes our county in an exciting direction. Our goal of establishing a diverse economic base for our citizens is becoming a reality. The presence of this world-class company in our community speaks for who we are in Anderson, and we welcome them with open arms.” –Anderson County Councilman Tom Allen, District Four
FIVE FAST FACTS
- Arthrex is launching new manufacturing operations in Anderson County.
- $69 million capital investment to create more than 1,000 new jobs.
- Arthrex is a leading manufacturer of orthopedic medical devices.
- Located at 5500 Highway 76 in Sandy Springs, S.C., the company will be constructing a new 200,000-square-foot facility to manufacture its innovative orthopedic devices and implants.
- Hiring for the new positions should begin in the next 12 to 18 months, and interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online.
Building the business of life sciences in South Carolina has become the call to action of SCBIO... see more
Building the business of life sciences in South Carolina has become the call to action and theme of the 2017 annual conference of the S.C. Biotechnology Organization (SCBIO). The rapidly evolving statewide industry association is featured in this September 2017 issue of Charleston Business Magazine, and will be featured in October 2017 issues of Columbia Business and Greenville Business as well. Click here for the full article.
Industry subject matter experts to cover what businesses need to know about state industry see more
GREENVILLE, SC – February 14, 2018 – SCBIO will host a half-day program March 14, 2018 -- South Carolina Life Sciences Boot Camp: Essentials of a Growing Industry – to inform and update businesses and professionals from across the state on opportunities, trends and issues facing South Carolina’s fastest-growing industry segment.
To be held at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health in Columbia, the program will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and will feature a light breakfast followed by presentations from over half a dozen noted life sciences industry leaders. Confirmed presenters and their topics are:
- Burnie Maybank, Author of the SC Life Sciences Act; Partner, Nexsen Pruet, “Life Sciences industry Economic Development Incentives”
- Stephanie Yarbrough, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson, “M&A 101 in the Life Sciences Space”
- Kathryn Cole Becker, Principal, Translational Science Solutions, “FDA 101 for Medical Devices”
- Jeff Stover, Partner, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, “IP Essentials for Life Sciences”
- John Osborne, Partner, Good Growth Capital, “Introduction to Life Science Innovation & Entrepreneurship”
- Public Policy Hot Topics – Speaker to be announced
Attendance is free to SCBIO members and employees of SCBIO member companies, and available for only $75 to Non-Members. Advance registration is required, and space is limited. To register, visit www.SCBIO.org/Events.
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products. The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.
SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations. SCBIO’s diverse membership is leading research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.
For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.
Mount Pleasant's FirstString Research completes $15MM Series B financing see more
FirstString Research, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has completed a $15 Million Series B financing round. Led by Park West Asset Management LLC and Sophos Capital Management L.P., the Series B financing round brings FirstString’s total investor funding to over $27 Million.
In connection with the Series B financing, Tony Bartsh of Park West and Neal McConnell of Sophos have joined FirstString’s Board of Directors. “FirstString’s team has developed impressive data for Granexin® across a wide range of wound healing indications. We believe the Series B capital will allow FirstString to accelerate the development pipeline in several promising areas. We look forward to the initiation of two important studies in the first half of 2018” said Tony Bartsh.
“We are thrilled to have Tony and Neal join our Board,” said Dr. Gautam Ghatnekar, President & CEO and Co-Founder of FirstString Research. “They bring with them a wealth of biopharmaceutical experience and expertise. We believe that the Park West and Sophos investments provide significant credibility and validation to our innovative technology and clinical strategy. With this new funding, FirstString will be able to continue our extensive pipeline development and to advance our existing late-stage clinical programs toward approval. ”
Top speakers and brands are committing to attend SCBIO 2017 in Charleston this October; have you sig see more
BIO global CEO Jim Greenwood will join South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster as featured luncheon speakers on the first full day of SCBIO 2017 – the annual conference bringing top leaders and executives from organizations across the life sciences industry to Charleston, South Carolina October 24–26.
Mr. Greenwood will be addressing the gathering with a keynote presentation entitled “Global Trends for the Life Sciences Industry – and Implications for South Carolina” at lunch on October 25. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster will follow with a presentation entitled “Life Sciences Powered by Public/Private Partnership – A Strategic View from the Statehouse.”
Dozens of top industry chief executives, leaders in government and higher education, biotechnology and pharma executives, and industry supporters from across America have already committed to attend SCBIO 2017 at Charleston’s Gaillard Auditorium, organizers confirmed today. Among the committed speakers and panelists are Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy, MUSC President David Cole, Clemson University President Jim Clements, USC President Harris Pastides, Medpoint CEO Chuck Crumpton, Belimed CEO Joseph McDonald, AVX Health Division executive Robert Fairey and numerous others.
Themed “Building the Business of Life SCiences in SC”, the 2+ day conference draws attendees from across America for networking, innovation updates, opportunity discovery, partnership making and strategic discussion. Committed attendees include officials across a broad spectrum of life sciences industries including medical devices, bio manufacturing, drug discovery, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and testing, digital health and health IT, bio ag and more. While space is limited and advance registration is required, interested attendees can still register at http://scbio2017.eventbrite.com.
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has an $11.4 billion economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products.
SCBIO 2017 kicks off Tuesday evening with a Welcome Reception for conference registrants, speakers and sponsors on the rooftop terrace of the Grand Bohemian Hotel. Wednesday will feature a full day of sessions beginning at breakfast with a greeting by Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and continuing through an evening reception. The conference will wrap up Thursday at lunchtime.
“The life sciences industry has become a major driver of South Carolina’s economy,” noted South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt recently. “Already accounting for thousands of highly-skilled jobs in the Palmetto State, we know that this sector has tremendous growth potential, and we’re excited to be partnering with SCBIO to help life sciences continue to advance in South Carolina.” SC Commerce is a Founding Partner of SCBIO and of the Conference.
Among the leading biotech industry brands participating in the conference are Nephron Pharmaceutical, BIO, Johnson & Johnson, AVX, PhRMA, Medpoint, AdvaMed, Poly-Med, VWR, Ritedose Corporation, Rhythmlink, Softbox, NCGS and SEMDA. All of South Carolina’s research universities – MUSC, Clemson and the University of South Carolina – are attending, as is Greenville Health System and economic development entities including SCRA, the Upstate SC Alliance, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and SiMT.
As the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations – SCBIO members include hundreds of academic institutions, biotech companies, entrepreneurial organizations, service providers, thought leaders, economic development organizations and related groups whose members are leading the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products that transform how we heal, fuel and feed the world.
Ty Kourlas posted an articleSCBIO named Sam Konduros, as the new president and CEO of the statewide not-for-profit entity see more
The South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO) named Sam Konduros, a business leader and biomedical and economic development consultant, as the new president and CEO of the statewide not-for-profit entity. SCBIO represents and catalyzes innovators in medicine, medical devices and biomaterials.
Konduros, a member of the SCBIO board, is the founder of SK Strategies LLC launched in 2004, and has led or consulted numerous state economic development efforts. He also served as executive director of Greenville Health System’s Research Development Corporation from 2014 to 2016.
“Sam’s strengths in knowing the biotech sector and his deep experience in business and economic development were compelling,” said Erin Ford, Chair of SCBIO. “The board was won over by his vision for the growth of SCBIO.”
As executive director for the GHS RDC, Konduros worked to facilitate tech transfer, attract new biomedical companies and grow collaborations between clinicians, researchers, and health educators while nurturing startups in shared lab space. He also chaired the healthcare system’s IP Committee, and helped develop the concept for a new life sciences innovation district referred to as the IMED Innovation Corridor.
“I greatly appreciate the SCBIO board’s passion for serving and advancing South Carolina’s rapidly growing life sciences community and industry sector, and for their vote of confidence in my leadership capabilities for the organization going forward,“ Konduros said. “I am highly motivated to get officially started in this exciting new role in late April, and I am confident we will have some dynamic and innovative new initiatives to announce by the time our annual conference takes place in Charleston Oct. 25-26.”
Konduros also served as a multi-year consultant to help forge the Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). He was the founding president and CEO of The Upstate SC Alliance. Konduros is a former Cancer Society chairman, Greenville Chamber chairman, and SC Chamber of Commerce executive committee member. He has a law degree from the University of South Carolina and undergraduate degree from Clemson.
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