This is the fifth year the HSC has granted seed funding to researchers affiliated with the Center’s partners, Clemson University, Furman University, Prisma Health and University of South Carolina. The grant program has required the different entities to collaborate for these projects relating to cancer care delivery and transformative research. This year, the HSC awarded 25 grants totaling $468,614, with support from Clemson University and the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville. Collaboration between the HSC partners are a requirement of these funding proposals, which has helped build health research in the Upstate, said Windsor Westbrook Sherrill, Clemson’s Associate Vice President for Health Research and Chief Science Officer at Prisma Health. “These seed grants promote collaboration between the partners of the Health Sciences Center and have been a critical source of funding for our Clemson health researchers who are engaging with clinical research partners,” Sherrill said. “Since the program was started, we have seen the seed grant program provide startup funding for some of Clemson’s most innovative health research initiatives. ”

The Health Sciences Center consists of Prisma Health, Clemson University, Furman University and UofSC.
Image Credit: Clemson University School of Health Research

Clemson University researchers from the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS), the College of Engineering, Computing and Applies Sciences (CECAS) and College of Science (COS) have been awarded 14 seed grants from the Seed Grant Program at Health Sciences Center (HSC) at Prisma Health. The grants will fund projects on a variety of topics from opioid exposure and genetic origin of addiction to cancer care and stroke patient rehabilitation.

This is the fifth year the HSC has granted seed funding to researchers affiliated with the  Center’s partners, Clemson University, Furman University, Prisma Health and University of South Carolina. The grant program has required the different entities to collaborate for these projects relating to cancer care delivery and transformative research. With financial support from Clemson University, Prisma Health and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, the HSC increased the award volume this year to 25 grants totaling $468,614.

Collaboration between the HSC partners are a requirement of these funding proposals, which has helped build health research in the Upstate, said Windsor Westbrook Sherrill, Clemson’s Associate Vice President for Health Research and Chief Science Officer at Prisma Health.

“These seed grants promote collaboration between the partners of the Health Sciences Center and have been a critical source of funding for our Clemson health researchers who are engaging with clinical research partners,” Sherrill said. “Since the program was started, we have seen the seed grant program provide startup funding for some of Clemson’s most innovative health research initiatives. ”

The Clemson researchers and their research partners are:

  • Kevin Taaffe, the Harriet and Jerry Dempsey Professor in Industrial Engineering in CECAS, and Ronald Pirrallo from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “A Data-Driven, Stakeholder-Sensitive Modeling Approach to Allocating Resources in Emergency Departments.”
  • John DesJardins, the Robert B. and Susan B. Hambright Leadership Professor in CECAS’s Department of Bioengineering, and Alan Hippensteal from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “Development and Testing of an Automatic Lengthening for Improved Ambulation in Lower-Limb Amputees.”
  • Lior Rennert, an assistant professor in CBSHS’s Department of Public Health Sciences, and Prisma Health’s Kevin Walker and Alain Litwin received funding for their project, “Evaluation of policies limiting opioid exposure and their downstream effects on persistent opioid use and misuse, hospital costs, and patient pain and satisfaction.”
  • Rachel Mayo, a professor in CBSHS’s Department of Public Health Sciences, and Jennifer Hudson from Prisma Health’s Department of Pediatrics received funding for their project, “Feasibility Study to Measure Stress in Infants with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome.”
  • John Whitcomb, a professor in CBSHS’s School of Nursing, and John Cull from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “Impact of transfusing packed red blood cells through a rapid infuser on potassium levels.”
  • John DesJardins, the Robert B. and Susan B. Hambright Leadership Professor in CECAS’s Department of Bioengineering, and Elizabeth DuBose from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “Improved Stroke Clinical Outcomes Measures with Motion Capture and Muscle Excitation Application for Improvements in Patient Rehabilitation.”
  • CBSHS’s School of Nursing Associate Director of Research Lucia Gonzales, nursing assistant professor Zahra Rahemi and Prisma Health’s Saria Saccocio and Teny Gomez received funding for their project, “Increasing conversations about end-of-life (EOL) planning for culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse (CRED) older adults in Appalachia, SC.”
  • Olin Mefford, an associate professor in CECAS’s Department of Material Science, and John Absher from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “Novel MRI Contrast Agents for Traumatic Brain Injury and Cardiovascular Imaging.”
  • Emil Alexov, a professor in COS’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and William Hand from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “Revealing Genetic Origin of Opioid Addiction: Pilot Study to Enable Large Scale Investigation of Genetic Variants Linked with Opioid Addiction and Development of Standard Testing Kit for Precision Administration of Analgesics.”
  • Jeffery Anker, the Wallace R. Roy Distinguished Associate Professor in COS’s Department of Chemistry, Sriparna Bhattacharya, a research assistant professor in COS’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Thomas Pace from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “Ultrasound Luminescent Chemical Imaging: A novel tool for early detection of implant related infection.”
  • Sabarish Babu, an associate professor in CECAS’s School of Computing and Prisma Health’s Dev Vaz and Jason Guichard received funding for their project, “Usability Assessment of Patient-Centric Mobile Health Application for Patient Self-Management and Enhanced Patient-Caregiver-provider Communication of Heart Failure.”
  • Corey Kalbaugh, an assistant professor in CBSHS’s Department of Public Health Sciences and Sagar Gandhi from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “The Use of Smartphone Technology to Supervise Exercise Therapy in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease.”
  • Angelica Perez, the Director of Development and Innovation in the Clemson School of Health Research and Prisma Health’s Russ Kolarik and Scott Porter received funding for their project, “Using Mixed Methods to Explore the Experiences of Underrepresented Minority Resident and Fellow Physicians in the Clinical Learning Environment and Develop a Supportive Community-Building Intervention to Improve Sense of Belonging.”
  • Lu Zhang, an assistant professor in CBSHS’s Department of Public Health Sciences and Regina Franco from Prisma Health received funding for their project, “Evaluate and Improve Lung Cancer Screening Program at Prisma Health: A Pilot Study.”

Click here to see a complete list of projects and seed grant awardees.