Scientific Environment

The Office of Research Development has compiled institutional information about the Medical University of South Carolina, primarily to assist faculty, staff, and trainees in preparing the Resources section for proposals. Formerly known as the "institutional boilerplate", the newly named Scientific Environment provides brief descriptions of major elements and initiatives to serve as a guide for faculty as they develop the resources and facilities portion of their proposal.

MUSC Overview

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MUSC

Collaborative Partnerships

Research Environment

Clinical Environment

Regional Health Network

Office, Computer, and Information Resources

MUSC Fact Sheets

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MUSC Overview

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina is South Carolina’s only comprehensive academic health science center. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 800 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy) and has more than 20,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets more than $4.6 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $5.6 billion and annual research funding of more than $328 million. As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is comprised of some 2,000 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations. Additionally, MUSC Health owns and operates eleven hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lancaster, Marion, and Richland Counties – designated as the MUSC Regional Health Network. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina.

Education. MUSC was founded in 1824 and is the oldest medical school in the southern United States. It has six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. MUSC is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award bachelor, master, doctoral and professional degrees. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and numerous national, professional, and specialized accrediting bodies provide additional accreditations. Approximately 1,500 faculty members engage in educating more than 3,000 students annually. MUSC awards ~1000 degrees annually with an enrollment of >2,500 degree-seeking students. In addition, the university coordinates the training of approximately 80 interns, ~700 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit the Medical University of South Carolina. For more information on hospital patient services, visit MUSC Health.

Administration. MUSC is a state-assisted institution; however, less than 7% of the annual budget comes from the state of South Carolina. The majority of financial resources are generated through patient care fees, extramural grants, tuition and private contributions. The South Carolina General Assembly and Governor appoint the Board of Trustees, who in turn appoints the President. The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs serves as Provost and Chief Academic Officer. The Vice President for Research is the Chief Research Officer. These dual appointments ensure that strategic planning, implementation and oversight are closely and continuously coordinated to provide excellent education, research and patient care in a first-rate academic health center.

Compliance. The MUSC University Compliance Program is a proactive program designed to promote full compliance with all applicable policies, procedures, laws, and regulations. This involves a confidential Compliance Helpline to encourage all members of the MUSC community to ask questions or voice concerns about laws and regulations on such topics as coding and billing, research integrity, professional ethics, human subject/animal research, biological safety, conflict of interests and patient/subject confidentiality. The Compliance Office proactively trains employees, monitors high-risk activities and facilitates discovery of concerns, followed by appropriate investigation and corrective action where appropriate. This program directly assists MUSC’s management at all levels in maintaining and enhancing an environment where ethics are paramount considerations in strategic and operational decisions throughout the organization. Institutional research compliances include a training and certification process for all key personnel engaged in research involving human subjects, vertebrate animals or biohazardous substances, as well as integration into curricula of appropriate instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MUSC

MUSC is committed to providing culturally competent care and ensuring that organizational priorities and goals pertaining to equity, inclusion, and excellence are institutionalized, sustained, and measured in order to “create an inclusive experience for the lives we touch.” The Interim Chief Equity Officer for MUSC is Willette Burnham-Williams, PhD. Every college has a designated faculty liaison for diversity, and all leaders are required to complete diversity education and training to combat unconscious bias on an annual basis. All new employee orientations include an introduction to MUSC’s diversity goals and values.

For two consecutive years (2018 & 2019), Forbes has listed MUSC as one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. MUSC ranked 13 out of 500 organizations. Moreover, MUSC ranked number 3 out of 30 institutions listed in the education category. Additionally, for four years in a row (2017 – 2020) MUSC has received the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT in Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The organization has also designated MUSC a Diversity Champion for three consecutive years (2018 – 2020). MUSC was among 46 recipients selected in 2020 for this honor, which is the only national diversity award in higher education. In December 2017, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce named MUSC the recipient of the 2017 Excellence in Workplace Diversity in the category for medium and large business. In 2016, MUSC Health was named a leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equity by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. In 2015, MUSC received the national Leadership Award of the Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS) of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). In addition, MUSC’s College of Medicine received an ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation for the Advancement, Recruitment and Retention of Women in Science (ARROWS), the only such NSF grant awarded to an academic medical center. Furthermore, the AAMC ranks MUSC in the 97th percentile among medical schools preparing physicians to care for patients of different backgrounds.

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Collaborative Partnerships

MUSC is the third-largest agency in the state and the largest employer in the Charleston area with ~20,000 employees in the University and Medical Center.  MUSC leads the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC), linking the academic health sciences center in Charleston to community-based health care centers statewide with an emphasis on health disparities, rural health issues, and access to health care. South Carolina was among the first 11 states to receive federal funding to establish a model statewide AHEC program in 1972. South Carolina AHEC received the prestigious Eugene S. Mayer Award in 2006, presented every two years to the best model statewide AHEC system in the nation. MUSC has received national recognition from the Association of American Medical Colleges and other professional associations for outstanding community service and leadership in innovative health services delivery, outreach, and emergency preparedness.

MUSC is the leading biomedical research institution in Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC), a statewide consortium created to facilitate and accelerate the development, testing, and dissemination of new, more effective health interventions and therapies to improve health and well-being of all residents of the state. Through HSSC, the state’s three research universities and four largest health care systems have created a statewide integration of scientists, clinicians, and data systems. HSSC has active working groups in science, clinical care, information technology and data interoperability, a statewide Institutional Review Board (IRB), and an integrated Center for Clinical Safety and Effectiveness that develops and coordinates state-of-the-art patient simulation technologies across the state.

Siemens Healthineers Partnership. In August 2018, MUSC and Siemens Healthineers announced a first-of-its-kind strategic partnership that will create a blueprint for the rest of the world for a transformed health care system that provides safe, equitable, timely, effective, efficient and patient-centered care. This partnership will act as an incubator, exposing learners to cutting-edge technology, fostering research inquiry to show whether the clinical changes that MUSC makes have an effect on patient outcomes and stimulating new transformational ideas to change health.

Medtronic and MUSC have partnered to develop value-based health care solutions designed to improve the health outcomes, care experience and cost of health care for patients with chronic diseases and conditions in South Carolina and beyond. The partnership combines Medtronic therapy and technology experience with MUSC’s clinical and academic expertise to create a more connected and coordinated care model with shared accountability – focusing on the quality of care and putting patients first.

MUSC Innovation Center. A partnership between MUSC, South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) and the City of Charleston, the Innovation Center supports the sophisticated requirements of Charleston’s growing biotechnology cluster organizations whether early-stage or mature. The 28,000 sqft facility, less than a mile from the center of campus, provides a research incubator and laboratory space to advance the commercialization of knowledge based on research discoveries and advances in health care.

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Research Environment

MUSC is the center of the state’s largest medical complex, located on the west side of Charleston, SC. A free-standing academic health center, MUSC is the only tertiary/quaternary care referral center for the entire state. Within a four-block radius of MUSC are the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston County Health Department, Roper/St. Francis Healthcare (the area’s largest community hospital), and numerous health professional offices and services.

MUSC has been at its present site on the Charleston peninsula since 1913, and currently occupies more than 80 acres and 89 buildings. Research buildings at MUSC include: the Basic Sciences Building, a 7-story, 332,000 sqft laboratory complex that houses MUSC’s basic science departments; Darby Children’s Research Institute, a 7-story, 122,000 sqft building housing 14 multidisciplinary lab-based research programs, adjoining the Basic Science Building; the Thurmond Biomedical Research Building, a 7-story, 180,000 sqft building that contains the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute as well as MUSC and VA research labs and shared facilities; and Walton Research Building, an 8-story, 56,600 sqft building housing research laboratories for Pathology, Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Two new research buildings opened in Fall 2011. Connected to the Basic Science Building via a pedestrian sky-bridge, the Drug Discovery and Bioengineering Buildings add 220,000 sqft for translational research, research training, and in vivo experimentation. Buildings that include significant research laboratory space, as well as clinical facilities, include the Institute of Psychiatry with nine basic science laboratories for alcohol and substance abuse research and a behavioral animal model facility; the Storm Eye Institute with a 40,000 sqft Vision Research Center; and the Hollings Cancer Center with more than 200,000 sqft including 98,000 sqft dedicated to laboratory-based research.

All laboratory investigators have well-equipped modern laboratories with suitable space for students. Appropriate glassware and sterilization facilities are provided. All researchers at MUSC have access to shared equipment and standard resources such as ultra-low freezers, centrifuges, scintillation counters, and cold, warm, light-controlled, and tissue culture rooms.

Research Cores & Facilities. MUSC has more than 35 state-of-the-art shared research cores & facilities physically housed in and administered by its departments, centers and institutes. Clinical research faculty, basic scientists, and students all benefit from the shared access to and cost of these research laboratories. Through these diverse resources, MUSC provides access to equipment and instrumentation, technical expertise and training, and education all designed to support innovative, cutting-edge research. To learn more, visit the research cores website.

Colbert Education Center/Library. The MUSC Library serves as a database and knowledge center, academic computing support unit, electronic education center, and leader in information planning. Online resources include major biomedical databases (e.g., Scopus, CINAHL Complete, PsycINFO, SciFinder Web, and PubMed). Resources include drug information (Lexicomp, the Electronic Orange Book), consumer health (Hands-on Health, MedlinePlus, Health Reference Center), clinical decision support systems (DynaMed, UpToDate, ClinicalKey), Clinical Practice Guidelines, clinical trials, evidence-based practice (Cochrane, the TRIP database), government resources (Toxnet, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, SC and US Statistical Abstracts), the Computational Biology Resource Center, >305,000 electronic books (Procedures Consult, Harrison's Online, AccessMedicine) and e-journal packages with >20,000 individual journals), statewide shared academic databases (Collegiate DISCUS), and other resources that provide a wealth of global information. Service-oriented faculty and staff assist in the use of a variety of informational systems. An active program of individual, class, and group instruction supports teaching, clinical care, research and community outreach. The Library includes the Instructional Technology Lab for web-based instruction and curriculum evaluation and the Informatics Lab with more than 180 microcomputers and peripheral equipment. In addition to off-campus remote access to collections and information, the Library maintains over 14,000 books and over 54,000 bound journals and print reference materials. The library serves as a resource library within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and is a major health science resource library for the state and the Southeast.

Research Administration. The MUSC research infrastructure includes pre- and post-award functions reporting to the Vice President for Research. The Office of Research Development (ORD) focuses on program and proposal development, identifies funding opportunities, develops proposal concepts, networks faculty members with complementary interests, provides grant-writing consultation and workshops, offers pre-submission critiques, compiles institutional data, and prepares competitive proposals for research infrastructure, and research training. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) handles certifications and assurances, ensures that policies and procedures are followed, helps prepare budgets, negotiates terms and conditions, maintains proposal and awards data, and oversees re-budgeting and close-out activities. ORSP is the institutional interface with and coordinates all aspects of electronic research administration. The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) provides oversight and staffing for activities focused on compliance with regulations for research involving humans, vertebrate animals, and biohazardous agents. It also coordinates the management of conflicts of interest, financial disclosure, and scientific integrity issues. The Office of Clinical Research (OCR) supports physician-scientists by developing strategic partnerships with industry sponsors, supporting feasibility and site selection processes, and employing metric tracking and reporting to ensure efficient study activation timelines, improved participant accrual, and optimal financial performance.

Research Growth. MUSC has a substantial research enterprise. In FY2021, MUSC faculty received 1,154 extramural awards totaling over $328 million, demonstrating research faculty’s nimbleness and creativity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Corporate funding increased as investigators worked with pharmaceutical companies to conduct clinical trials testing vaccines. Additionally, funding from the state through the CARES Act contributed to the increase. Federal funding (including federal flow-through) constitutes about 83 percent of extramural support, with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as the primary funding agency. With more than $189 million from the NIH, MUSC’s extramural research encompasses basic research, clinical research, training, and clinical trials. In FY2018, MUSC ranked in the top 100 in R&D expenditures at higher education institutions [NSF 20 – 302, November 2019]. 

Research Training.  MUSC offers an outstanding environment for training and career development. The university ranks in the top quartile of domestic educational institutions in the number of NIH grants for research training and education. NIH FY2021 award data include 22 NIH institutional training or research education grants (T32, T35, TL1 and R25 types), 31 NRSA individual fellowships (F-types), 44 individual and 4 institutional career development awards (K12 & KL2 awards), and 12 center grants (P awards) with many including training and career development components for postdoctoral and/or junior faculty. MUSC has three dual degree programs: the NIGMS-funded Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/Ph.D.), the NIDCR-funded Dental Scientist Training Program (DMD/Ph.D.), and PharmD/Ph.D., plus a well-subscribed Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program that was initiated with K30 support. Four MUSC training programs focus specifically on diversity in the biomedical sciences: the NIGMS-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) that supports doctoral training for minorities, two NHLBI R25 grants for short-term research training for minority students, and a Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) that supports minorities in preparation for biomedical research careers.

SmartState® Program.  The SmartStateProgram® was created by the South Carolina legislature and is funded through South Carolina Education Lottery proceeds. The legislation authorizes the state's three public research institutions, MUSC, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina, to use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence in research areas that will advance South Carolina's economy. The SmartState® Program has resulted in more than $400 million dollars in non-state investment into the South Carolina economy and is responsible for the creation of 5,000 jobs. To date, MUSC has initiated 20 SmartState® Centers, bringing the total of MUSC endowed chairs and named professorships to 47 (33 appointed as of 2021). In addition to the obvious benefit of providing substantial resources to recruit senior research leadership and entrepreneurship, the program has dramatically raised the profile of university-based research in South Carolina – especially biomedical and clinical/translational research – and stimulated significant philanthropy to meet match requirements.

MUSC Foundation for Research Development. The MUSC Foundation for Research Development (FRD) is an affiliated, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, established to manage technology transfer and private sector research relationships for MUSC. FRD is responsible for evaluating all intellectual assets MUSC owns and generates, extracting value, and forging industry and other relationships resulting in products and services that provide real-life solutions to the world’s medical needs. MUSC investigators currently submit approximately over 150 new invention disclosures per year, for a total of over 1,900 disclosures since the FRD’s inception. On behalf of MUSC and its investigators, FRD has filed more than 500 US patent applications on new technologies. Those applications resulted in over 300 domestic and international patents. In addition, FRD has entered into more than 160 license agreements for MUSC innovations with over 70 products on the market. Over 50 start-up companies have been founded to commercialize MUSC intellectual property. These accomplishments illustrate the quality and practical relevance of MUSC expertise and research findings, setting the pace for future progress.

Hollings Cancer Center. The Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) at MUSC is an NCI-designated cancer center. Founded in 1993, HCC serves the state as a leader in cancer research, patient care and public and professional education. In 2007, MUSC completed the renovation of the original building and a 7-story tower addition. The HCC Building has 3 ½ floors dedicated to research laboratories and a floor dedicated to animal research facilities. Last year, HCC had >80,000 outpatient visits, $20M in cancer research extramural funding, and >1,100 patients enrolled in cancer research studies. Strong leadership and extensive institutional investments led to the award of a P30 Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) in April 2009 that was competitively renewed in 2014. HCC research members include >100 faculty representing 18 departments. Cancer research programs include Cancer Biology, Developmental Cancer Therapeutics, Cancer Immunology, and Cancer Control. HCC supports a range of core resources, e.g., Biostatistics, Clinical Trials, Flow Cytometry/Cell Sorting, Lipidomics, Cell & Molecular Imaging, Biorepository & Tissue Analysis, Genomics, shRNA Technology, Cell Evaluation & Therapy and Small Animal Imaging. HCC members also occupy 3½ floors of research space in the Drug Discovery and Bioengineering Buildings.

South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute. MUSC established the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute (SCTR) in 2006 in response to the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program, aimed at transforming approaches to research and discovery implementation. The main thrust of the CTSA Program is to catalyze the development of interdisciplinary research initiatives to accelerate the translation of discoveries into improved therapies and clinical practice while breaking down programmatic boundaries.

The SUCCESS Center (Support Center for Clinical & Translational Science) is the “Front Door” of the SCTR Institute, providing comprehensive navigation to all SCTR research support resources, those of the institution and the CTSA National Network. Support spans the entire research spectrum, from inception of ideas through technology transfer and dissemination of best practice models.

The Research Nexus, a key element of SCTR, is a specialized, JCAHO-accredited clinical unit that facilitates patient-oriented research for the NIH and provides medical scientists and trainees with critical resources to advance the understanding of human diseases and enhance therapeutic interventions. The Research Nexus – a 9,200 sqft facility on the 2nd floor of MUSC's Clinical Sciences Building – houses 8 examination rooms, 2 procedure rooms, and a pulmonary function testing suite. A specialized Molecular Core Lab provides services and expertise for studies requiring basic molecular biology (e.g., DNA sequencing) as well as population-based studies (e.g., DHPLC screening). The Research Nexus houses a state-of-the-art facility for cell isolation and processing for local derivation of cells approved for use in human cellular transplantation. For inpatient studies, the Research Nexus uses “scatter-beds” in areas best suited to the needs of the study. SCTR has robust statewide collaborations with affiliate members including the University of South Carolina, Health Sciences South Carolina, Clemson University, Greenwood Genetics Center, South Carolina Research Authority, and the Charleston VA Medical Center.

Research Opportunities & Collaborations. Dedicated to pairing new study opportunities with world-class faculty and supporting rapid study launch (e.g., site assessment, budget negotiation, regulatory review), the Research Opportunities & Collaborations (ROC) team offers a comprehensive array of support services (Phases I to IV) in every major therapeutic specialty. ROC also manages MUSC’s strategic contract research organizations (CRO) relationships with Quintiles, PPD, ICON, and PAREXEL. Since October 2012, 168 contracts for ROC study opportunities have been executed, totaling $51.6 million. As a Quintiles Prime Site, the MUSC enrollment factor is 204 percent (104 percent more participants enrolled, on average than other sites). Additionally, study implementation is 3 weeks faster compared to other academic medical centers.

Protection of Human Subjects. Participation of human subjects in research is under the jurisdiction of federal regulations (45 CFR 46 and 21 CFR 50 and 56). MUSC investigators are granted the privilege of working with human subjects under normal assurance to the government that such research complies with regulations protecting human subjects. The university has a federal-wide assurance for research with human subjects (FWA 00001888, expires 05/12/2026), and is in compliance with the federal policy governing the use of human subjects. Individuals involved in human subjects research at MUSC are required to complete the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) offered online by the University of Miami. All human subject protocols are reviewed through an academic Institutional Review Board (IRB) process that has been accredited by the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). The MUSC Office of Research Integrity (ORI) coordinates the activities of three IRB committees, involving faculty members as well as representatives of the business, legal, ethical, religious, and civic communities. The MUSC IRB serves as the university affiliate for the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, which is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Protection of Animal Subjects. The Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) centrally manages the University’s animal care program utilizing 96,562 sqft of animal research space. All facilities are specific-pathogen-free (SPF). MUSC has been fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International since 1987 (institution #695) and has an unbroken record of compliance with regulatory inspections by the USDA. The USDA has approved MUSC's license and registration (56-R-0001) for compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. MUSC’s Animal Welfare Assurance number is D16-00268 (expires April 30, 2024). The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is independently chartered and appointed by the President and is fully independent of DLAR. The IACUC reports to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost. The IACUC is responsible for the review of all proposals using lab animals at the university as well as oversight of the programs and policies associated with animal use. The committee meets monthly to review and approve animal protocols and address other issues. It performs semiannual inspections and reviews of the DLAR programs and facilities for compliance with PHS, USDA and AAALAC regulations. The IACUC reviews all plans for animal facilities, programs and major equipment. To help the IACUC in monitoring the conduct of animal-based research and proactively assist investigators in establishing and maintaining good practices, MUSC also has a program for Post-Approval Monitoring of Animal Use (PAMA) to help the IACUC monitor the conduct of animal-based research and proactively assist investigators in establishing and maintaining good practices. A designated Animal Research Compliance Liaison works with the MUSC investigators and the individuals who handle animals in their laboratories to ensure that the highest level of animal care is maintained and that all research involving animals is conducted with appropriate IACUC review and approval. MUSC’s animal facilities are located above the flood plain or are flood-proofed, a significant factor due to MUSC’s location in a low-lying, severe weather region.

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Clinical Environment

MUSC Health, the clinical enterprise of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), is dedicated to the pursuit of changing what’s possible in health care. The innovations and leadership of this integrated health care system are evident, not only in the hospitals (University Hospital; Ashley River Tower, a cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and cancer specialty hospital; the Institute of Psychiatry; the Storm Eye Institute; and Children’s Hospital) on the downtown Charleston campus, but shared with the eleven hospitals owned and operated by MUSC Health (situated in Charleston, Chester, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lancaster, Marion, and Richland counties), more than 100 outreach locations, clinical affiliations with numerous health care partners, and a robust telehealth network. MUSC Health serves more than two million patients annually, and its specialized care teams consistently rank among the best in the country. MUSC Health delivers transformational care shaped by world-class clinicians, health scientists, and educators who provide leading-edge care while developing the next generation of innovative health care leaders.

Medical Center Research Mission. The Medical Center's mission is to provide excellence in patient care, teaching, and research in an environment that is respectful of others, adaptive to change, and accountable for outcomes. The Medical Center advances biomedical knowledge by serving as a setting for clinical and translational research, providing resources to conduct research, and offering opportunities for patients to participate appropriately in research and treatment protocols.

MUSC Children’s Health. MUSC Children's Health is South Carolina's most comprehensive system of preventive and clinical care devoted exclusively to the well-being of children. The system delivers the most advanced, evidence-based pediatric health services from the fetal stage through the teen years. Six pediatric specialties - cardiology & heart surgery, cancer, nephrology, urology, gastroenterology & gastrointestinal surgery, and diabetes & endocrinology - are ranked in the top 50 in the country. The state's only nationally recognized children's hospital is located on the MUSC campus in downtown Charleston. MUSC Children's Health is expanding access to specialized pediatric care through a growing network of outreach locations across the state and through the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance.

The MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital (SJCH), consists of 250 beds and opened in February 2020, provides the most advanced pediatric care possible in more than 26 specialty areas, in person or through a robust telehealth network, SJCH includes a Level 1 trauma center and Emergency Department, the state’s only pediatric burn center and solid-organ and bone marrow transplant programs, the state’s largest Level 4 neonatal intensive care unit, an advanced maternal-fetal medicine center, and a top-10 ranked U.S. News & World Report children’s heart program, which functions through a nationally unique statewide collaboration of pediatric heart surgeons and cardiologists. The Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion, located on the fourth floor of the new hospital, will handle the toughest, most complex pregnancies and neonatal care. The Pavilion will bring together a team of specialists and cutting-edge technology while providing the necessary space to ensure that mothers and babies—and their families—can remain together throughout their hospital stays.

Hollings Cancer Center. The Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) is the largest academic cancer center in South Carolina. It is the state's only National Cancer Institute (NCI) - designated cancer center and one of fewer than 70 in the U.S. As the state’s foremost cancer treatment and research center, the HCC unites more than 200 experts in treatment, research, education, prevention and control, and outreach to address South Carolina’s significant cancer problem. The Center’s resources extend throughout South Carolina via partnerships with other health care organizations, ensuring that all patients in the state have access to innovative and compassionate care. For the 27,000 South Carolinians who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, the HCC is leading the way in changing what’s possible in cancer care.

Ralph H. Johnson Veterans’ Administration Medical Center. The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (VAMC), opened in 1966, is a leading primary, secondary, and tertiary care facility located in Charleston, SC, serving more than 55,000 Veterans along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. The 152-bed medical center provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient care including Medical and Surgical Intensive Care. The VAMC provides comprehensive health care in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, women's health and dentistry. Each year, Veterans require more than 659,000 outpatient visits and ~4,300 inpatient stays. The Charleston VAMC is very closely affiliated with MUSC. The VA Research Program contributes significantly to the recruitment and retention of highly specialized clinical staff, many of whom are involved in basic, clinical and translational research studies. The VAMC has an annual budget of over $500 million and research funding of more than $35 million. The VAMC Research and Development Service has a rich, sustained portfolio of innovative basic and clinical projects with an emphasis on translating research findings into cutting-­edge clinical practices. Currently, 100+ VA research investigators are involved in >300 biomedical research projects. Outpatient clinical/translational research activities are housed in a dedicated 2,800 ft2 Clinical Research Unit (CRU) on the 2nd floor of the VAMC, comprising 10 examination rooms, 4-­station transfusion room, 3-­station physician workroom, waiting room and a general laboratory with centrifuge, several refrigerators and a microscope. The CRU includes a sterile specimen storage facility, staff offices and break-­ and workrooms. The VA Research Program contributes significantly to the recruitment and retention of expert professional staff, many of whom lead research studies, and hold joint-appointments with the affiliate university, MUSC.

MUSC Center for Telehealth. The MUSC Center for Telehealth is supported by state appropriations as well as a number of grant resources. Its mission is to improve the delivery of exceptional healthcare to those in need by leveraging technology to extend the reach and improve the quality of MUSC’s health services. The center currently supports telehealth activities in diverse applications including programs applied in the home, outpatient clinic, emergency room, inpatient service, and intensive care unit. MUSC’s telehealth network includes >275 sites such as hospitals, primary care clinics, obstetric services, school-based clinics and mental health sites in 40 counties across South Carolina. Care settings include 40 hospitals, 126 community clinics, and 92 other sites, including 80 schools, with 78% of sites in partially or fully medically underserved regions. MUSC’s annual telehealth interactions have grown from 1,078 in 2013 to >290,000 in 2018. The breadth, depth, and commitment to underserved and vulnerable populations led Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to designate MUSC as one of two Telehealth Centers of Excellence in 2017 with the overarching objective of advancing the telehealth scientific knowledge base. Telehealth programs align with strategic initiatives, enhancing available support and likelihood of rapid implementation and sustainability. The Center supports provider and presenting site training as well as ongoing quality maintenance. The Center also provides a common point of contact for collaborating entities and stakeholders external to MUSC and plays a lead role in maintaining an open-access statewide telehealth network created with the shared goal of addressing South Carolina’s healthcare priorities.

MUSC Health data. Data for the year ending June 30, 2021 include:

Number of Licensed Beds plus 82 Neonatal Special Care


Average Daily Census Rate


Annual Admissions


Number of Births


Number of Outpatient Visits


Number of Inpatient Surgical Procedures


Number of Outpatient Surgical Procedures


MUSC Health Awards & Recognition
. The MUSC Medical Center is licensed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and has Joint Commission accreditation with the “Gold Seal of Approval,” attesting that the accredited organization has demonstrated compliance to the most stringent standards of performance. MUSC undergoes an extensive unannounced on-site Joint Commission review at least once every three years. The MUSC Medical Center has earned numerous Joint Commission Special Quality Awards including Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Certification (2017), Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification (2016), Gold Plus ‘Get with the Guidelines for Stroke’ (2013) and Heart Failure (2014), and American Cancer Society National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (2012). MUSC has additional accreditation for Behavioral Health Care.

For the 17th consecutive year (2016/2017), MUSC received the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation (NRC) as one of the nation’s top hospitals. MUSC is the only medical center in the state that offers transplant programs for heart, pancreas, kidney-pancreas, small bowel and liver (including living donor procedures for liver transplantation). U.S. News & World Report ranked MUSC as the top hospital in South Carolina for 2021-2022 and among the best in the country for the treatment of ENT disorders, gynecology, and cancer. Seventeen other MUSC Health programs are considered “high-performing” specialties, procedures, or conditions and include gastroenterology and GI surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, heart attack, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, back surgery (spinal fusion), hip replacement, kidney failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer surgery, pneumonia, stroke, colon cancer surgery,   rheumatology, orthopedics, and urology. In addition, MUSC Health Florence Medical Center is designated “high performing” in COPD, heart failure, heart attack, and kidney failure. MUSC is among seven percent of U.S. hospitals to earn Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. 

Access to Patients. The MUSC Medical Center has managed care contracts with all major commercial payers in its area. The tri-county Charleston area is the state’s fastest growing region with a population of 665,000 in the primary area and another 500,000 in neighboring areas. As South Carolina's premier health care center, MUSC receives statewide and regional referrals through consortium hospitals, satellite clinics, and an extensive network of referring physicians. In late 2018, MUSC Health announced the purchase of community hospitals located in four rural South Carolina counties. The addition of these hospitals will further extend MUSC’s reach into rural and underserved areas where health care access has been significantly limited.

Clinical Trials. The South Carolina Research Studies Directory,, enables South Carolinians to participate in research opportunities and novel treatment options available at MUSC as well as many of the other state hospitals. Participation in these treatment options (i.e., clinical trials) allows individuals to play an active role in their own health care and access new treatments before they become widely available. It also allows individuals to help others that may benefit in the future from their contribution to medical research.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) System. MUSC has implemented Epic software as the enterprise-wide integrated healthcare information system that integrates inpatient and ambulatory patient data, clinical access and revenue functions and integrates information systems to exchange data to support patient engagement and care coordination as well as secondary analyses in research, quality measurement and population health. This integrated EHR optimizes process efficiency and improves quality at each step of the continuum of care across the entire health-care system. In addition to providing in-house applications, the EHR has an active patient portal and a portal for referring physicians. The system also provides additional levels of security and authentication for users and follows the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for privacy and compliance.

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Regional Health Network

MUSC Health’s expansion to clinical systems across regions of South Carolina makes it possible to offer research and clinical trials participation opportunities to a large, diverse population, including individuals living in rural areas. Counties within the MUSC Regional Health Network (RHN) include Charleston, Chester, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lancaster, Marion, and Richland. Key MUSC RHN medical centers beyond Charleston county are described below:

Florence Medical Center. MUSC Health Florence Medical Center is comprised of 396 patient beds, more than 1,500 employees and nearly 300 physicians representing all major specialties. The center combines advanced technology, medical innovation, and proven treatment methods to benefit patients. The extensive range of services include heart and vascular care, cancer treatment, minimally invasive orthopaedic and general surgery, diagnostics, women’s health, and rehabilitation services. The hospital’s Chest Pain Center is the first in the region to have been accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) and its advanced Primary Stroke Center is recognized by the Joint Commission.

Lancaster Medical Center. MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center is a 225-bed, all-private room facility, with more than 120 physicians and care team members. The center offers acute care, diagnostic services, women’s health, orthopaedic services, cardiac services, general and laparoscopic surgery, rehabilitation, emergency treatment, wound care, and more. Lancaster Medical Center is an Accredited Chest Pain Center as designated by the American College of Cardiology, as well as a Primary Stroke Center as designated by the Joint Commission.

Marion Medical Center. MUSC Health Marion Medical Center is a 124-bed, acute care facility that provides complete inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, medical, surgical, and emergency care. Marion Medical Center is Joint Commission accredited and includes Mullins Nursing Center — a 92-bed, long term care facility.

Chester Medical Center. Chester Medical Center is a 82 licensed bed hospital that serves the residents of Chester County.

MUSC’s Health’s Midlands Division.The Midlands Division encompasses three community hospitals, a freestanding emergency department (FSED), and affiliated physician practice locations serving communities in the Midlands.


MUSC Health Columbia Medical Center Downtown, known as South Carolina’s heart hospitalis a full-service medical center with 338-beds serving Columbia and the surrounding region. Along with emergency services, the center offers heart & vascular care, cardiac rehabilitation. Imaging Services, and Palliative Care.


MUSC Health Columbia Medical Center Northeast is a 74-bed full-service hospital near Farrow Road and I-77 in Richland County. Specialties of the center include heart & vascular care, heart surgery, cardiac rehabilitation, lung care, orthopedics, primary care, a sleep disorders program, urology, palliative care, and wound care.


MUSC Health Fairfield Emergency & Imaging is a freestanding emergency care clinic in Winnsboro providing quality emergency care and outpatient imaging and lab services for the community of Fairfield County.


MUSC Health Kershaw Medical Center, located in Camden, is a full-service medical center with 139-beds. The center provides a wide range of diagnostic, medical, surgical, emergency and urgent care, rehabilitation, and home health and hospice care, as well as general and specialty physician services.

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Office, Computer and Information Resources

Office areas at MUSC are well lighted ventilated and appointed for scholarly activities, paperwork, and modes of communication (voice, data, analog, digital, etc.) that are common and appropriate at a contemporary health professional university and academic medical center. Competent support staff and all standard office services and software are readily available to facilitate the academic and scientific activities of faculty, trainees, and technical staff.

Laboratories and offices typically have several networked PC and Apple computers and laser printers. The MUSC campus offers network access to computerized clinical data management systems, outpatient electronic medical records, Lanvision, Access Anywhere, IDX registration system, and the integrated laboratory system. Standard statistical software includes Epistat, SAS, SPSS, S-Plus, and M-Plus. DXCG and ACG software are available for patient case mix analysis. Office 365 is the standard suite of office tools/software. All data are locally backed up through password-protected Apple Time Machine hard drives and/or a Novell server while institutional protocols ensure long-term data security and protection.

Computer Services and Information Technology. MUSC Information Solutions provides information technology, informatics, and analytics services for the academic health center. It manages the campus-wide data and voice communication network as well as other core infrastructure systems and applications, with high-speed ethernet network and internet support with wireless access throughout the campus. Main infrastructure systems include Microsoft Exchange email, file storage, web servers, calendars, network identification and account maintenance, network time protocol, domain name system, and directory services. Core academic applications include the MUSC Library System, OVID, WebCT, SYBYL (molecular modeling), and GCG (gene sequence research). Core financial and administrative applications include GL, AP, financial reporting, purchasing, payroll, and human resources.

MUSC Data Network and Security. Access outside the MUSC firewall requires a VPN with two-factor verification. Free encryption service is provided for all laptops. Other data security elements include enterprise Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) service, advanced intrusion detection systems (IDS), Security Information and Event Management system (SIEM), and virtual machines (VMs) for research data management and analysis. Enterprise-wide process improvements include network access control, technical vulnerability management program and Data Center physical security. The MUSC Data Center is manned 24x7 by operations staff who monitor all servers, environmental conditions, and notify appropriate personnel as needed. The entire Data Center is protected by a card access system and 24-hr security cameras at each door entering and within the center. Weekly full-verified backup, daily differential verified backup, and every-6-hr transaction log backup are captured by IBM® TSM system, Microsoft® Volume Shadow Copy service, and Microsoft® SQL server, so that a new system can be restored using the backup tapes/files with minimal data loss in case of a catastrophic failure to a web or database server. The university system is backed up on a nightly basis, data files are written initially to disk and staged to tape. Copies of the tapes are rotated offsite to vital records (3 months of taped backups are available at any given time). In the event of hurricanes or other natural disasters, two forms of backups will be performed to ensure that data are not lost: 1) the information system will keep timely backups available at the remote site, and 2) project personnel will be instructed to bring updated copies of their data on external hard-drives if evacuated.

Visit ORD's Grant Writing Toolkits to access additional Scientific Environment templates customized for specific grant mechanisms.

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