Letter from the Vice President

John W. Kelly, Vice President for Public Service and AgricultureA collaboration among scientists at Clemson, the Medical University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to identify and enhance the medicinal qualities in everyday foods, such as collards, kale, cilantro and muscadine grapes. Their goal is to produce foods that help prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. This research can also identify value-added crops for growers.

The state’s shrimp industry has developed a marketing plan with help from Clemson researchers and Extension specialists. The plan promotes wild-caught shrimp to compete with foreign imports. The group also developed a comprehensive risk management program and methods to improve the profitability of local sales as a means of building a sustainable industry for South Carolina.

Drought is a reminder that water is critical for our farms, homes and industries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated Clemson the center of excellence for watershed management in South Carolina. This designation carries with it the responsibility of building partnerships and leading efforts to develop cost-effective watershed management programs throughout the state.

Research on a parasite that causes African sleeping sickness may benefit medical researchers seeking ways to control diabetes. The connection is glucose, or blood sugar. Clemson scientists are investigating ways to break the glucose connection that the parasite uses to attack its host. This knowledge also may help medical researchers discover ways to control blood-sugar levels in patients with diabetes.

In September, a symposium on best practices to empower girls will provide professional development for youth workers across the state. The symposium is a partnership among Clemson, Columbia College and the SC Department of Juvenile Justice that focuses on effective gender-responsive strategies.

John W. Kelly
Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture