MUSC dedicates new disease and drug research facility

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new multi-million dollar laboratory at MUSC will help scientists find cures and treatments for major diseases and illnesses.

The dedication of the James E. Clyburn Research Center took place Friday with federal, state and local dignitaries all in attendance.

It's a high-tech hub for some life-saving research and education. MUSC has developed the center, where bioengineering and drug research will take place in the two buildings of the complex.

"Today is the dawning of a whole new era. Not just on the Medical University campus, but in South Carolina, and these buildings are part of a bigger transformation that's taking place," MUSC President Dr. Ray Greenberg said. "It's about taking the basic research that we do and translating it into improving people's lives and hopefully creating jobs in the process."

Medical professionals and local, state, and federal officials toured the facilities for the first time. MUSC says it hopes to recruit world-class researchers to find cures and drug treatments for: cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and more.

The center was named for Congressman James Clyburn, who lost both of his parents to cancer and has made it his mission as an elected official to improving the healthcare system.

"This facility will have a double barrel approach when it comes to healthcare. The kind of research that will be going on here will lead to a much better quality of life for people who do get sick and it will postpone if not prevent people from getting sick," Cong. Clyburn said. 

The planning of the research complex started seven years ago. MUSC broke ground on the facility two years ago. There are 78 labs in the complex. In addition to medical research, students from MUSC, USC and Clemson will take classes and learn about medical advances at the facility.

The research complex was a nearly $120 million project. It was paid for by federal and state money and private funds.

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