SC undertakes groundbreaking N-I-H research

Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina will work together on a $9.3 million research project for tissue regeneration.
The program will work from Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center’s with five-year funding from the National Institute of Health.
Another multi-million dollar health project will help South Carolinians participate in life-saving clinical trials. The N-I-H has awarded the University of South Carolina and its Health Sciences South Carolina-supported Center for Health care Quality a $4.8 million Grand Opportunity Grant. Called a GO Grant, the money will be used to accelerate the development of a statewide Internet-based research network to help connect patients to clinical trials.
It will also help these hospitals and universities safely gather and share patient information.
Researchers at Greenville Hospital System, Clemson and Spartanburg Regional as well as Palmetto Health, MUSC and USC will benefit from this grant, which will save the lives of countless South Carolinians
Jay Moscowitz is the chair of the USC Center of Economic Excellence for Health Care Quality, he describes the importance of this research project.
“These are very important because they are evaluating new therapies and new diagnostic techniques for many of the diseases that South Carolinians are experiencing: heart disease and cancer, obesity, diabetes,” Moscowitz says.
Dr. Moscowitz says more and more people are interested in taking part in these trials because it brings therapies and diagnostics to them quicker.
He says the other key development in health sciences is the explosive growth of the Internet.
“People can sign up through the Internet which is really a new challenge for the third avenue that’s taking place and that is the importance of protecting privacy through the health insurance portability and accountability act, everyone has heard about HIPAA and those privacy rules,” he said.
Doctor Moscowitz- also serves as president and CEO of Health Sciences South Carolina – works with the three research universities and four largest hospitals.  He says this project will build the information infrastructure for the future of health care.
“What we’re doing is putting this on an IT frame so it can be shared not only by the patient, and updated by the patient, but also managed by each of the entities that’s running the clinical trials.  This is something that the reviewers of this grant said is not only novel, but would be used throughout the United States and probably throughout the world.” 
Moscowitz, the chief researchers says grants like this are some of the most competitive. He says the work of the Centers of Economic Excellence for Health care Quality will mean economic development for the state.
“As South Carolina becomes first in the nation to have this, we see more pharmaceutical companies, more device companies and diagnostic companies wanting to partner with us and actually bringing jobs, and maybe even locating some of their companies in South Carolina.”
The $4.8 million GO Grant award comes from 2009 stimulus funds.