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FMU receives nearly $1.3 million award to enhance biomedical research

FLORENCE – Francis Marion University researchers’ quest to find more effective treatments for epilepsy and cancer received a boost with a $1.296 million award over five years from the National Center for Research Resources to support biomedical research by faculty and students. 

The collaborations between two groups of researchers below provide the basis for exciting scientific achievements in control of tumor growth and understanding mechanisms of temporal lobe epilepsy.  

Cancer:

·         FMU Assistant Professor of Biology Erin Eaton, Ph.D.

·         University of South Carolina Professor of Biological Sciences David Reisman, Ph.D. 

Epilepsy:

·         FMU Assistant Professor of Biology Latha Malaiyandi, Ph.D.

·         FMU Associate Professor of Biology Kirk Dineley, Ph.D.

·         Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience, USC School of Medicine David Mott, Ph.D. 

“This is yet another accolade for one of the finest faculties in the state,” said FMU President Luther F. Carter. “Our biologists will be conducting essential biomedical research and further enhancing the education of our students in the process – an ideal integration of research and teaching.” 

The award will fund the Biomedical Research Enhancement program at FMU enabling South Carolina researchers to continue working to find cures for diseases that affect our world and providing research opportunities for undergraduates to experience the art of scientific discovery under the close direction of faculty researchers. 

“This gives us the chance to expose more students to biomedical research,” Eaton said. “The funding also allows us to travel to national scientific meetings to explore the research of others as it relates to cancer.”

Malaiyandi said this award facilitates the process of moving from “bench to bedside” or from the research scientist’s lab to the hospital patient’s bed. 

“Through this collaboration, we are able to apply our knowledge base to clinical applications that have direct impact on human diseases, such as epilepsy,” Malaiyandi added. 

Lucia Pirisi-Creek, Ph.D., USC principal investigator, will direct the award. Peter King, Ph.D., chair of FMU’s biology department, will serve as the grant’s co-director.

The IDeA program is administered by the NIH National Center for Research Resources. EPSCoR and the NIH IDeA program are designed to expand research opportunities in states that have traditionally received less funding in federal support for university research. South Carolina INBRE is a statewide network of colleges and universities with a mission to make South Carolina researchers more successful in competing for research funding and provide opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in the exciting world of biomedical research.

·         Kirk E. Dineley joined FMU in 2003. He earned the B.S. degree in biology from Pennsylvania State University and the Ph.D. degree in molecular pharmacology from the University of Pittsburgh.  

·         Erin M. Eaton joined the FMU faculty in 2006. She received the B.S. degree (cum laude) in biological sciences from the University of South Carolina, and the Ph.D. degree from Vanderbilt University.  

·         Latha M. Malaiyandi of came to FMU in 2006. She earned the B.A. degree in molecular and cell biology/biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Ph.D. degree in molecular pharmacology from the University of Pittsburgh. 

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Last Published: November 4, 2010 1:10 PM
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