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MISSION STATEMENT: "Deliver cutting edge research to the door step of our clients and seek opportunities to expand service delivery research using existing tools to achieve early recognition of mental illness and provide evidence supported treatments to reduce the disease burden for citizens of South Carolina."

Division of Biological Research

Welcome to the Division of Biological Research at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Our goal is to reduce the burden of mental illness in South Carolina and beyond through cutting edge, translational research, medical education, and timely dissemination of research results. Our commitment to evidence based psychiatry, the backbone of quality mental health care, utilizes current pharmacotherapies and other tools to investigate and advance novel enhanced treatment strategies to improve outcomes thus reduce disease burden.

To achieve our mission we work collaboratively with other prestigious universities including Duke, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt and MCG, other departments within the University of South Carolina and the School of Medicine, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, as well as other State and private agencies. Our research is supported by grants from the National Institute of Health, state agencies, local grants and pharmaceutical companies.

Our Team consists of physicians who hold dual appointments with the School of Medicine and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and staff members with years of experience in research. Medical students and psychiatric residents may opt a research rotation. We strive to contribute to national and international efforts to advance mental health treatment through the dissemination of knowledge gleaned from our research. In addition to numerous publications, members of our team are frequently invited as featured speakers, presenting at national and international meetings.

Areas of Research

 Areas of research include autism, bipolar disorder, dual diagnosis, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Within these disorders, we aim to discover methods that improve mood, cognition and behavior resulting in remission of symptoms. In addition to clinical trials we are involved in translational studies, study of biomarkers predictive of clinical response and studies with other departments involving multiple treatment modalities.

Information for the Public

A clinical trial is a research study to answer specific questions about vaccines or new therapies or new ways of using known treatments. Clinical trials (also called medical research and research studies) are used to determine whether new drugs or treatments are both safe and effective. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people. Trials are in four phases: Phase I tests a new drug or treatment in a small group; Phase II expands the study to a larger group of people; Phase III expands the study to an even larger group of people; and Phase IV takes place after the drug or treatment has been licensed and marketed.