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Clemson Center for Human Genetics opens in Greenwood

Self Regional Hall, a new 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility that will house the Clemson University Center for Human Genetics, has opened on the campus of the Greenwood Genetic Center.

The facility will enable Clemson’s growing genetics program to collaborate closely with the long tradition of clinical and research excellence at the Greenwood Genetic Center, combining basic science and clinical care. The center will initially focus on discovering and developing early diagnostic tools and therapies for autism, cognitive developmental disorders, oncology and lysosomal disorders. The building will house eight laboratories and several classrooms, conference rooms and offices for graduate students and faculty.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six children between the ages of 3 and 17, roughly 15 percent, suffers from some type of developmental disorder.

“Opening Self Regional Hall means that we will be able to do even more to help children with genetic disorders, and their families, and to educate graduate students who will go out into the world and make their own impact,” said President James P. Clements.

“As the parent of a child with special needs, the kind of research that you are doing here is especially meaningful and important to me and my family,” Clements said during the event. “As you all know, an early diagnosis can make a huge difference for a child and their family because the earlier you can figure out what a child needs, the earlier you can intervene and begin treatment.”

“Self Regional Hall is a state-of-the-art facility that provides the resources our scientists need to understand the genetic underpinnings of disorders,” said Mark Leising, interim dean of the College of Science at Clemson. “This facility, and its proximity to the Greenwood Genetic Center, elevates our ability to attract the brightest scientific talent to South Carolina and enhances our efforts to tackle genetic disorders.”

The facility’s name recognizes the ongoing support from Self Regional Healthcare, a health care system in Upstate South Carolina that has grown from the philanthropy of the late James P. Self, a textile magnate who founded Self Memorial Hospital in 1951.

“Self Regional Healthcare’s vision is to provide superior care, experience and value. This vision includes affording our patients with access to cutting-edge technology and the latest in health care innovation — and genomic medicine, without a doubt, is the future of health care,” said Jim Pfeiffer, president and CEO of Self Regional Healthcare. “The research and discoveries that will originate from this center will provide new options for those individuals facing intellectual and developmental disabilities, and will provide our organization with innovative capabilities and treatment options for our patients.”

“We are pleased to welcome Clemson University to Greenwood as the first academic partner on our Partnership Campus,” added Dr. Steve Skinner, director of the Greenwood Genetic Center. “This is the next great step in a collaboration that has been developing over the past 20-plus years. We look forward to our joint efforts with both Clemson and Self Regional Healthcare to advance the research and discoveries that will increase our understanding and treatment of human genetic disorders.”