The Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences (DDBS) provides training in the basic sciences to professional (Pharm.D.) and graduate students (Ph.D.). Training provides fundamentals in the health sciences including; biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, pharmacology, oncology and neuroscience. Research training in DDBS encompasses the understanding of disease mechanisms, drug action and toxicity, the design and development of new pharmaceutical agents, and the identification of new drug targets. Graduates of the program (Pharm.D/Ph.D. or Ph.D.) can pursue diverse and exciting career opportunities in academia, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, or with government agencies. DDBS has 15 tenured/tenure-track faculty on the Columbia Campus (USC) and 14 faculty members in Charleston (MUSC). The South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) ranks 11th in the country in terms of total NIH funding (almost 10 million) out of more than 130 US-based colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Research efforts in DDBS include the following areas: Chemical Biology/Medicinal Chemistry, Translational Cancer Therapeutics, Mitochondrial Biology, Cell Death, Injury and Regeneration, Pharmacogenomics, Targeted Therapeutics, Pharmacology, Neuroscience, and Personalized Medicine.
Dr. Jun Zhu (June 1, 2016) has been awarded a new NIH/NIDA R21 grant (R21DA041932). The project entitled “Knock-in mouse model of dopamine transporter-Tat interaction underlying NeuroAIDS” begins June 1, 2016 and runs for two years. These studies expand and enhance his current NIH/NIDA-funded R01 project entitled “Impact of HIV-1 Tat protein on cocaine-dopamine transporter interaction”.
Dr. Campbell McInnes (Feb 1, 2016) has been awarded a new NIH/NCI R21 grant (R21CA191899). The project “Inhibitors of B-raf through the Dimerization Interface” begins February 1, 2016 and runs for two years. These studies expand and enhance his current work in this area that is supported by the Melanoma Research Alliance.
Dr. Georgi Petkov’s essay entitled “BK channel regulation by phosphodiesterase type 1: A novel signaling pathway controlling human detrusor smooth muscle function” was selected as the winner in the Basic Science Category of the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction 2016 Basic Science Essay Competition. He will be recognized at the SUFU award presentation ceremony in February 2016.
Dr. Igor Roninson is a recipient of the 2015-2016 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award from the Office of the USC Vice President for Research.
Dr. Hippokratis Kiaris has been appointed by the Vice President for Research as the Director of the Peromyscus Stock Center at USC.
Dr. Jill Turner has been elected as an Associate Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).