The Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center (EPIC), founded in February 2013, is an interdisciplinary research cooperative at Clemson University. It stands at the forefront of biomedical research on eukaryotic pathogens, which are the causative agents of some of the most devastating and intractable diseases of humans including malaria, amoebic dysentery, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and fungal meningitis. Globalization has resulted in an increase in such infections in the US and many eukaryotic pathogens are also classified as bioterrorism agents and/or neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The global importance of these pathogens is what motivates our faculty members, who have established a lengthy track record of major contributions in this area of research.
Exceptional Research Facilities
The center is located in Clemson University’s new Life Sciences Facility (LSF). This 100,000 square foot building is comprised of 3 floors of state-of-the-art research space, consisting of 25 “wall-less” laboratories. The LSF opened in January 2013 and represents a university investment of $50 million dollars. EPIC occupies the entire top floor.
Many Heads Better Than One
We appreciate the value of collaborative research. The shared infrastructure of the LSF provides a unique environment for critical inquiry and scholarly exchange and fosters an atmosphere of team-work, mentoring and informal peer-review. We share our knowledge. The members of EPIC participate in international meetings and publish prolifically. We learn from others. EPIC researchers collaborate with scientists at other institutions across the country and throughout the world.
Our Ideas Are Getting Funded
The bulk of the center's funding is derived from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Over the past decade, EPIC researchers have secured ~$6 million dollars in federal funding. However, in today’s setting of increasing competition for federal dollars, collaborative partnerships with industry and private foundations are also being sought.
We appreciate that research impacting global health should never stop. Therefore, we are creating a legacy of scientific inquiry by training the next generation of scientists. Our faculty members serve as mentors to junior faculty, post-doctoral research fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students in Clemson’s Department of Biological Sciences, School of Agriculture, Forest, and Environmental Sciences, and Department of Genetics and Biochemistry.
EPIC is dedicated to advancing the understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating virulence of eukaryotic pathogens. The center carries out the mission through the expertise of its faculty, education, cutting-edge research, intramural and extramural collaborations, publications, faculty participation in scientific meetings, and public outreach.
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Flickr: EPIC Flickr