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Setting a new bar for research and scholarship

James P. Clements

James P. Clements

As a public, land-grant institution, the responsibility to conduct research for the benefit of South Carolina and beyond is embedded in our foundation — and our future. Every day, faculty, staff and students are working to improve the quality, quantity and impact of our research to foster our position as a world-class research university that serves to inspire a new generation of thinkers, drive economic growth and solve real-world problems.

In the 2016 Carnegie Classification for Institutions of Higher Education, Clemson was designated a Research 1 university — putting us among universities with the highest level of research activity. This recognition raises the University’s national profile, helps us recruit top faculty and puts us in a better position to compete successfully for more research funding.

Our increasing reputation in research helps attract the best and brightest graduate students, and our faculty are continuing to bring in major funding for their work. In fact, we have seen an increase of nearly 60 percent in sponsored research and programs over the past three years — from $102 million in 2013 to $159 million in the most recent fiscal year.

For years, Clemson has created and nurtured research and economic development centers to build a knowledge-based economy in South Carolina. The University’s more than 100 research centers and institutes are dedicated to everything from automotive excellence to advanced materials, and agriculture to foresty — to name just a few — and serve as the link between academics, industry and government.

In addition to research that supports economic development, Clemson’s research also supports better health outcomes for all. As just one example of that work, in a collaborative effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our faculty, graduate students and undergraduates worked together to identify different strains of Legionella, the most common cause of waterborne bacterial outbreaks in the United States. As part of that research, they determined that one of the strains was novel — it had not previously been identified. You can read more about the newly named Legionella clemsonensis on page 6.

We recently announced several major grants from such institutions as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health that will help solve problems related to causes of Type 2 diabetes, the treatment of seizures, detection of infections on implanted medical devices, and critical functions for data and cyber security. And these are just a few examples of Clemson addressing real-world problems with well-researched solutions.

Our ClemsonForward plan sets a new bar for research and scholarly work. Through the implementation of this strategic plan, we will

  • refocus our research mission,
  • increase scholarship and funding,
  • grow targeted research investment,
  • raise expectations and
  • reward excellence in research.
We are committed to furthering our international research reputation by promoting a culture of discovery and excellence while exploring new opportunities to bring bold ideas and innovative answers to South Carolina and the world.

Our over-arching goal is that in 10 years, Clemson will perennially rank among the nation’s Top 20 public universities and as a Carnegie Tier 1 research institution.

James P. Clements, Ph.D.
President

 

Clemson Lands $11 Million Grant

CLEMSON HAS BEEN AWARDED $11 MILLION to expand a bioengineering center that helps mentor junior faculty members as they research how labgrown tissue can treat some of the world’s most debilitating diseases, ranging from heart disease to spinal cord injuries.

The money comes from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program that supports the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) nationwide, including Clemson’s South Carolina Bioengineering Center of Regeneration and Formation of Tissues (SC BioCRAFT). The grant is the largest from the NIH in the University’s history; it brings the total NIH funding for the center to $20.3 million.

The grant will pay for maintaining and upgrading state-of-the-art facilities and provide funds for five junior faculty to begin their research, said Naren Vyavahare, the SC BioCRAFT director and Hunter Endowed Chair of bioengineering.

“This is seed money,” he said. “The whole idea behind the center is to fund and mentor junior faculty and make them successful. When they get their own major grant, we graduate them and bring new people in.”

Clemson researchers will collaborate with Roger Markwald of the Medical University of South Carolina, who is a co-principal investigator on the grant. Senior investigators Thomas Borg and Mark Kindy, both of MUSC, will provide biology expertise.