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.