South Carolina Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health (SC-TRIMH)

 South Carolina Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health (SC-TRIMH

When it comes to health research, improving patient outcomes and health delivery are critical goals. That’s why researchers across the nation are increasingly focused on translational research – research that applies scientific breakthroughs in actual medical practice to improve patient care and health outcomes.

A group of health researchers at Clemson University, in partnership with clinical experts at the Prisma Health–Upstate and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), have joined together to launch an innovative, translational research initiative: South Carolina Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health (SC-TRIMH).

Musculoskeletal disease has debilitating effects on the population which results in chronic pain, increased mortality, decreased mobility, and serious psychological effects. Such disorders among aging individuals are of particular concern, as the number of Americans over the age of 65 is predicted to double by 2030 – resulting in increased stress for the healthcare system.

Led by Professor Hai Yao, the SC-TRIMH initiative will leverage the resources of the Clemson University School of Health Research (CUSHR), Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBEInC), Prima Health–Upstate, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), in order to address the challenges of bone and joint diseases. New methods of virtual modeling, cluster computing, and fabrication technologies will help design a new generation of devices and interventions that can both improve musculoskeletal health and reduce healthcare costs.

This unique initiative is anchored within CUSHR, providing opportunities for health research collaboration across colleges and departments and with health delivery system partners. A Clinical Advisory Group facilitates and advises the work of junior investigators and core research teams. The clinical advisory group includes Prisma Health–Upstate physicians Kyle Jeray, Michael Kissenberth, Thomas Pace, Larry Bowman, W. Franklin Sease and Medical University of South Carolina physician Vin Pellegrini.

SC-TRIMH Junior Investigators

Melinda Harmon, Ph.D.

Area of focus: Total Knee Replacement

Fei Peng, Ph.D.

Area of focus: Hip Replacement Sensors

William Richardson, Ph.D.

Area of focus: Tendon Repair

Hugo Sanabria, Ph.D.

Area of focus: Bone Loss

Tong Ye, Ph.D.

Area of focus: Cartilage Imaging

News and Updates

Pilot Project RFA

SC TRIMH welcomes Clemson affiliated investigators to participate in the Center and is pleased to announce that it will fund multiple pilot projects grants to expand the pool of investigators at Clemson University working on musculoskeletal diseases. An informational meeting to address any questions will be held January 25, 2019 at Rhodes Research Center Annex Room 111 from 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm. The submission deadline is February 15, 2019. Additional information regarding the Pilot Project Request for Applications can be found at the “Limited Submissions” page on the Office of Research Development website.

SC TRIMH receives national funding from NIH

The National Institutes of Health recently funded South Carolina Translation Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health as a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (award #P20GM121342). The overall goals of this 5 year, $11.2 million award are to mentor developing scientist into independently NIH funded investigators, to provide the infrastructure and resources necessary to support their work, to foster additional musculoskeletal research in healthcare, and to increase economic development in the state improving healthcare. While this program is focused upon musculoskeletal health, the knowledge and technology developed through this award will be applicable to all medical diseases. Dr. Hai Yao, Professor of Bioengineering serves as the Principal Investigator for the multi-project award.

Dr. Feng Ding received NIH R35 MIRA award

The goal of NIH R35 Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award (MIRA) is to increase the efficiency of NIGMS funding by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thereby enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs. The program will also help distribute funding more widely among the nation's highly talented and promising investigators. MIRA grants will generally be for 5 years (R01 equivalent), for both established investigators and new and early stage investigators.

This is a true testament to our mentoring and the development of our junior investigators in the SC-TRIMH program. Dr. Ding’s R35 award will support him to develop a multiscale computational model to uncover the structure, dynamics, and function relationship of osteoclast-specific V-ATPases and bone resorption for preventing osteoporosis.