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USC School of Medicine to open data bio hub on Greenville’s Main Street

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville plans to open a research facility on Greenville’s Main Street, a high-profile piece of two new initiatives it will launch this year.

The Data Innovation BioHub is set to open in late summer or early fall 2024. Researchers at the bio hub will use data to identify health disparities and inequalities impacting the health of those living in South Carolina. These disparities can be due to a person’s socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender and more.

Marjorie Jenkins is the dean of USC School of Medicine Greenville.
Marjorie Jenkins is the dean of USC School of Medicine Greenville.

Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, dean of USC School of Medicine Greenville, explained the bio hub is part of the school’s increased focus on student research over the next decade. Over 95% of the college’s medical students currently participate in a research elective.

“Student research is more than just giving them that research experience, it’s also giving them the tools to apply research to their practice,” Jenkins said.

The medical school will lease space at Main Street Labs located at 2 N. Main St. for the bio hub. The downtown lab space is owned by Hughes Development Corp.

Bob Hughes, chairman of Hughes Development Corp., said Main Street Labs was built to be a home for the life sciences community in Greenville. Other tenants at the lab include Kiyatec, SCbio and Summit Tech Solutions.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that the Greenville medical school bio hub is going to be located there,” Hughes said. “That’s exactly the type of innovation we wanted to catalyze.”

Primary Care Accelerated Track

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville continues shaping the state’s next generation of medical professionals. The medical school will soon launch two new initiatives to provide innovative research and accelerated education opportunities for its students.
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville continues shaping the state’s next generation of medical professionals. The medical school will soon launch two new initiatives to provide innovative research and accelerated education opportunities for its students.

USC School of Medicine Greenville strives to help solve the current shortage of primary-care physicians in South Carolina. According to the medical school, there is a projected shortage of 815 primary-care physicians in the state by 2030.

In July, the medical school is launching the Primary Care Accelerated Track, an accelerated pathway for students to earn their M.D. degrees.

Students who complete this accelerated track will graduate from the USC School of Medicine in three years. Following graduation, the students will participate in a three-year primary-care residency program in family medicine at Prisma.

Once they complete their residency, each new primary care physicians will sign a four-year contract agreeing to practice medicine in South Carolina in exchange for a full tuition reimbursement. The medical school plans to invest $3.9 million to pay for the students’ scholarships.

The first cohort to start the Primary Care Accelerated Track will consist of six medical students. Jenkins said the school intends to grow this pipeline over the next decade.

“This is a great program model to put primary care doctors where they’re most needed in South Carolina,” Jenkins said.

Lifestyle medicine curriculum certification

Lifestyle medicine is integrated into the curriculum and learning experiences at USC School of Medicine Greenville. The medical school is the first in the country to incorporate nutrition, physical activity and health behaviors into all four years of its curriculum.

For the significant level of lifestyle-medicine curriculum taught at the school, USC School of Medicine Greenville recently earned the “Platinum Plus” certification from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. The school is one of the first two in the county to achieve this certification.

Primary care physician shortage

There are currently 2,732 primary care physicians in South Carolina. There is a projected shortage of 815 primary care physicians in the state by 2030.

With this shortage, there are 67 medically underserved areas in South Carolina.

Medical School graduates

A total of 740 students have graduated from the USC School of Medicine Greenville since it opened in 2012.

This story was filed as part of an editorial partnership between South Carolina Public Radio and the Greenville Journal, which is responsible for its content. You can learn more about the Greenville Journal here.

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.