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Special Populations

SCTR Institute

Despite national and local mandates to include special populations in federally-funded research, children, the elderly, and racial and ethnic minorities continue to have limited participation in clinical and translational research (CTR). Children and older adults have distinct health issues superimposed with developmental and epigenetic issues that unfold across the lifespan. South Carolina is largely rural, has a significant percentage of racial ad ethnic minorities, a higher prevalence and mortality rate from chronic diseases and worse health outcomes than most of the nation. The Special Populations program will develop and test innovative strategies and adopt best practices to ensure the adequate representation of special populations in CTR through the following aims:

  • Enhance the culture supporting CTR in diverse populations across the lifespan through targeted initiatives including policy change, faculty recruitment, training and pilot project funding.
  • Increase child health research across SCTR by participation in the Child Health Research Acceleration through Multi-site Planning Network (CHAMP).
  • Develop, disseminate and implement best practices for recruitment and retention of special populations in CTR.

Special Populations Consultative Services

MUSC's SCTR Institute is now offering free consultative services pertaining to special populations research and recruitment. These consultations assist with defining special populations for inclusion in translational research and other types of studies involving human subjects. The Special Populations navigators can also offer methods to identify community-based organizations and stakeholders to help facilitate access to special populations for inclusion in research. They also offer assistance identifying electronic databases and institutional resources to increase the inclusion of special populations in research being conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina.

To request a consultation, visit SPARCrequest and select Special Populations Navigation under the SCTR SUCCESS Center category of the Service Category. Please contact the SUCCESS Center at 843-792-8300 for questions or assistance.


Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Assessment and Evaluation, College of Medicine
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
AT&T Endowed Chair for Cancer Equity, Hollings Cancer Center

Cristina Lopez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing

Tara Pittman
Marketing and Recruitment Manager