School Receives First NIH Grant


The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy (PCSP) has received its first-ever National Institutes of Health grant, announced Dr. Cliff Fuhrman, Dean of the school.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a $440,000, five-year Biomedical/Biobehavioral Research Administration Development (BRAD) Award to the school to build its research infrastructure to support the graduate PCSP and undergraduate PC faculty members and their students in the pursuit of research and scholarly activity.

The grant is one of three newly funded national BRAD grants, which are awarded annually.

“It is difficult to put into words just how much this first-ever NIH grant to our school means,” Fuhrman said. “We are a new school, but clearly a school whose mission and focus on health care from the broad community service perspective is needed. We believe that we can and will help the people we serve, not just in South Carolina, but wherever our graduates go.  This grant will provide essential resources to keep us moving in that direction.”

Fuhrman will serve as a principle investigator, along with the two principle investigators who developed the grant, PCSP Director of Research and Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Science Dr. Sarah Sweitzer and Genevra Kelly, Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs and the new program’s Extramural Associate.

“The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Human Development has been a key supporter in the development of new programs that focus on improving health in communities, particularly for those most at risk,” Kelly said. “The grant will allow us to build a program that attracts the best faculty and students to our school, all with our mission in mind: Care for the Community.”

Dr. Sarah Sweitzer, PC’s 2013 Faculty Scholar of the Year, has been the School of Pharmacy’s leading research advocate.

“From an undergraduate perspective, PC has a long history of strong student success in the allied health professions,” Sweitzer said. “The grant will help obtain funding to support faculty and students in important undergraduate research programs and initiatives that prepare our students for significant accomplishments in graduate study programs and their careers.”

Kelly also noted the importance that partnerships will have for the PCSP program moving forward.

“One of the opportunities this grant provides is the opportunity to collaborate with new colleagues as we implement our grant,” she said. “We look forward to working with Dr. Stephen M. Lanier, Associate Provost for Research, and his team at MUSC in this capacity. Their experience in this area will be invaluable.”

The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy has just admitted its fourth class. Its special focus on rural, indigent, and medically underserved populations with an emphasis on chronic diseases can be seen daily in the way faculty, staff, and students fulfill the school motto of Care for the Community.