Aerial view of the MUSC campus.

Research Excellence Awards

With so many impactful findings coming out of the College of Medicine, we are delighted to showcase some of the more significant research publications. On a periodic basis, COM leadership selects papers to highlight from nominations for publications that have appeared in high impact journals with an active, full time, COM, faculty member as first or last author. Read more about the Research Excellence Award criteria and nominations.

Congratulations to the Spring 2024 recipients of the College of Medicine Research Excellence Award.

photo of Dr. Allen in front of river

Caitlin Allen, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences, was recognized for her work and article, “Using implementation science to evaluate a population-wide genomic screening program: Findings from the first 20,000 In Our DNA SC participants,” published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Dr. del Monte sitting on bench in lab coat

Federica del Monte, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, was recognized for her work and article, “Big tau aggregation disrupts microtubule tyrosination and causes myocardial diastolic dysfunction: from discovery to therapy,” published in European Heart Journal.

Patrick Mulholland in front of sign

Patrick Mulholland, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience, was recognized for her work and article, “Adaptor protein complex 2 in the orbitofrontal cortex predicts alcohol use disorder,” published in Molecular Psychiatry.

Previous Honorees

photo of Dr. Sahin in lab

Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry, was recognized for his work and article, "Toxic PARP trapping upon cAMP-induced DNA damage reinstates the efficacy of endocrine therapy and CDK4/6 inhibitors in treatment-refractory ER+ breast cancer," published by Nature Communications Nov. 2, 2023.

photo of Dr. Toll in garden

Benjamin Toll, Ph.D., Professor of Public Health Sciences, was recognized for his work and article, "Shift From Smoking Cigarettes to Vaping Nicotine in Young Adults," published by JAMA Internal Medicine Nov. 13, 2023.

William Mellick, PhD

William Mellick, III, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, was recognized for his work and article, "Alcohol Cue Processing in Co-Occurring Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder," published by JAMA Psychiatry August 9, 2023.

Evan Graboyes headshot

Evan Graboyes, M.D., MPH, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, was recognized for his work and article, Efficacy of a Brief Tele-Cognitive Behavioral Treatment vs Attention Control for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors with body Image distress A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial, published in JAMA, Dec. 1, 2022.

Kalivas lab group picture

Peter Kalivas, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, and Anna Kruyer, Ph.D., were recognized for their work and article, Plasticity in astrocyte subpopulations regulates heroin relapse, published in Science Advances, vol. 8, issue 32, 10 Aug., 2022.

Meenal Mehrotra headshot

Meenal Mehrotra, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery and Oral Health Sciences, was recognized for her work and article, Quantitative Increase in T Regulatory Cells Enhances Bone Remodeling in Osteogenesis Imperfecta, published in iScience, volume 25, issue 9, 16 Sept. 2022.

headshot of Wenjian Gan

Wenjian Gan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, for his work and article, Arginine methylation of BRD4 by PRMT2/4 governs transcription and DNA repair, published in Science Advances, Dec. 7, 2022, volume 8, issue 49.

headshot of Silvia Guglietta

Silvia Guglietta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Regenerative Medicine, was recognized for her work and article, Complement downregulation promotes an inflammatory signature that renders colorectal cancer susceptible to immunotherapy, published in the 2022 Journal for the ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, volume 10, issue 9.

headshot of James Otis

James Otis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurosciences, was recognized for his work and article, An opioid-gated thalamoaccumbal circuit for the suppression of reward seeking in mice, published in Nature Communications Nov. 11, 2022.

Howard Becker, PhD

Howard Becker, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, was recognized for his work and article titled "Dynorphin/Kappa Opioid Receptor Activity Within the Extended Amygdala Contributes to Stress-Enhanced Alcohol Drinking in Mice" published in Biological Psychiatry volume 91, issue 12, 15 June 2022.

Jessica Rodriguez Blanco

Jezabel Rodriguez Blanco, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, was recognized for her work and article titled "Noncanonical activation of GLI signaling in SOX2+ cells drives medulloblastoma relapse" published in Science Advances Cell Biology, vol. 8, no. 29, 20 July 2022.

Natalie Saini, PhD

Natalie Saini, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, was recognized for her work and article titled "Acetaldehyde makes a distinct mutation signature in single-stranded DNA" published in Nucleic Acids Research, vol. 50, issue 13, 22 July 2022.

Joseph Delaney, PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Joseph Delaney, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, "SWAN pathway-network identification of common aneuploidy-based oncogenic drivers," Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 50, Issue 7, 22 April 2022

John O'Bryan, PhD

John O’Bryan, Ph.D., Professor of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology, "Identification of the nucleotide-free state as a therapeutic vulnerability for inhibition of selected oncogenic RAS mutants," Cell Reports, Volume 38, Issue 6, 8 February 2022

Je-Hyun Yoon, PhD

Je-Hyun Yoon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, "NEAT1 is essential for metabolic changes that promote breast cancer growth and metastasis," Cell Metabolism 33, December 7, 2021

photo of Carol Feghali-Bostwick

Dr. Feghali-Bostwick, Professor and SmartState and Kitty Trask Holt Endowed Chair for Scleroderma Research, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology, "Antifibrotic factorKLF4 is repressed by the miR-10/TFAP2A/TBX5 axis in dermal fibroblasts:insights from twins discordant for systemic sclerosis," Annals of Rheumatic Diseases February 2022, Volume 81-2


photo of Susan Dorman, MD, in lab

Susan E. Dorman, M.D., Professor of Medicine, "Four-Month Rifapentine Regimens with or without Moxifloxacin for Tuberculosis," New England Journal of Medicine May 6, 2021

photo of Dr. Jim Prisciandaro

James J. Prisciandaro, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, "Effects of Gabapentin on Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex GABA and Glutamate Levels and Their Associations With Abstinence in Alcohol Use Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial," American Journal of Psychiatry July 14, 2021

photo of Jen Wang

Haizhen "Jen" Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology, "Nuclear PFKP promotes CXCR4 dependent T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia infiltration," Journal of Clinical Investigation July 13, 2021

photo of Dr. Danielson

Carla Danielson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, "Safety and Efficacy of Exposure-Based Risk Reduction Through Family Therapy for Co-Occurring Substance use Problems and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Adolescents: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” JAMA Psychiatry February 5, 2021

photo of Long research team

David T. Long, Ph.D., (pictured on right with team), Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “BRCA1-BARD1 regulates transcription through BRD4 in Xenopus nucleoplasmic extract,” Nucleic Acids Research February 28, 2021

photo of Dr. Vinyak 

Vinayak Rohan, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, “Maintaining Equity and Access: Successful Implementation of a Virtual Kidney Transplantation Evaluation,” Journal of the American College of Surgeons, December 21, 2020

Kelly Barth, DO, with research team

Kelly S. Barth, D.O. (pictured on left), Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and co-investigators Taylor Crouch, Ph.D., Sharlene Wedin, Ph.D., Lilian Christon Ph.D., Rebecca Kilpatrick, Ph.D., Wendy Balliet, Ph.D., and Jeff Borckardt, Ph.D., "Pain Rehabilitation’s Dual Power: Treatment for Chronic Pain and Prevention of Opioid-Related Risks," American Psychologist in 2020, Vol. 75, No. 6

Photo of Dr. Daniel Lackland

Daniel T. Lackland, Dr.P.H., Professor in the Department of Neurology, "Forty-Year Shifting Distribution of Systolic Blood Pressure With Population Hypertension Treatment and Control," Circulation, October 20, 2020

Photo of Dr. Anton and team

Raymond F. Anton, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry; and co-investigators Patricia Latham, Ph.D.; Sarah Book, M.D.; Michaela Hoffman, Ph.D.; James Prisciandaro, Ph.D.; and Emily Bristol, BA, “Efficacy of Gabapentin for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder in Patients With Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms A Randomized Clinical Trial,” JAMA Internal Medicine March 9, 2020

Photo of Dr. Rohan

Vinayak Rohan, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, “Virtual Crossmatching in Kidney Transplantation:  The Wait is Over,” Journal of the American College of Surgeons April 1, 2020

Dr. Jhou and team

Dr. Thomas C. Jhou (top left, with team), Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, “Three Rostromedial Tegmental Afferents Drive Triply Dissociable Aspects of Punishment Learning and Aversive Valence Encoding,” Neuron 104, December 4, 2019

Photo of Dr. Ogretmen

Dr. Besim Ogretmen, SmartState Endowed Chair in Lipidomics and Drug Discovery and Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “Mitochondrial protein import is regulated by p17/PERMIT to mediate lipid metabolism and cellular stress,” Science Advances, 11 September 2019

Photo of Dr. Wagner and team

Carol L. Wagner, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, and co-investigators Danforth A. Newton, PhD, and John E. Baatz, PhD, “Vitamin D binding protein polymorphisms significantly impact vitamin D status in children," Nature: Pediatric Research, February 2, 2019

Photo of Dr. Norris 

Russell A. "Chip" Norris, PhD, Associate Professor, Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, “Primary cilia defects causing mitral valve prolapse," Science Translational Medicine Vol. 11, Issue 493, May 22, 2019

Photo of Wei Jian, MD

Wei Jiang, MD, Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology, “Systemic Translocation of Staphylococcus Drives Autoantibody Production in HIV Disease,” Microbiome, February 2019

Stephen Tomlinson, PhD

Stephen Tomlinson, PhD, Professor, Microbiology & Immunology, “Targeted complement inhibition salvages stressed neuros and inhibits neuroinflammation after stroke in mice,” Science Translational Medicine, May 2018

Photo of Michael Zile, MD

Michael Zile, MD, Endowed Chair, Professor, Medicine, “Effects of Sacubitril/Valsartan on Biomarkers of Extracellular Matrix Regulation in Patients with HFrEF,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, February 2019

 Photo of Mark Rubinstein and John Wrangle

John Wrangle, MD, MPH (on right),  Assistant Professor of Medicine - Hematology/Oncology, and Mark Rubinstein, PhD (left), Assistant Professor of Surgery, “ALT-803,an IL-15 superagonist, in combination with nivolumab in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; a non-randomized, open-label, phase 1btrial,” The Lancet Oncology, May, 2018 (Volume 19 – Issue 5)

 Photo of Jeffrey Korte

Jeffrey Korte, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences, "Impact of HIV Self-Test Distribution to Male Partners of ANC Clients: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial in Kenya,” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, December 1, 2018 (Volume 79 - Issue 4)

 Dr. Christopher Cowan and Dr. Makoto Taniguchi

Dr. Christopher Cowan and Dr. Makoto Taniguchi, “HDAC5 and Its Target Gene, Npas4, Function in the Nucleus Accumbens to Regulate Cocaine-Conditioned Behaviors,” Neuron, September 27, 2017

Dr. Donald Menick and Dr. Lillianne Wright

Dr. Donald R. Menick and Dr. Lillianne H. Wright, "Angiokine Wisp-1 is increased in myocardial infarction and regulates cardiac endothelial signaling,” JCI Insight, February 22, 2018

Donna Roberts

Dr. Donna Roberts, Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science, “Effects of Spaceflight on Astronaut Brain Structure as Indicated on MRI,” New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 377, No. 18, November 2, 2017

Shikhar Mehrotra Ph.D.

Dr. Shikhar Mehrotra, Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, “CD38-NAD+Axis Regulates Immunotherapeutic Anti-Tumor T Cell Response,” Cell Metabolism, Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2018

Photo of Stephen Duncan

Dr. Stephen A. Duncan, SmartState and Department Chair in the Department of Regenerative Medicine, “A Drug Screen using Human iPSC-Derived Hepatocyte-like Cells Reveals Cardiac Glycosides as a Potential Treatment for Hypercholesterolemia,” Cell Stem Cell, Volume 20, Issue 4

Photo of Phillip Howe

Dr. Philip H. Howe, Hans and Helen Koebig Chair in Clinical Oncology and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “Cathepsin-B-mediated cleavage of Disabled-2 regulates TGF-_-induced autophagy,” Nature Cell Biology, Volume 18, Number 8

Photo Zihai Li and research associate

Zihai Li, MD PhD, Professor and chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Sally Abney Rose Chair in Stem Cell Biology & Therapy, pictured (on right) with first co-author Alesandra Metelli, PhD, "Platelets subvert T cell immunity against cancer via GARP-TGFbeta axis," Science Immunology, May 2017

photo of Dr. Olsen

Dr. Shaun Olsen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “S. pombe Uba1-Ubc15 Structure Reveals a Novel Regulatory Mechanism of Ubiquitin E2 Activity,” Molecular Cell., February 16, 2017

Photo of Betty Tsao

Dr. Betty Tsao"A missense variant in NDF1 is associated with susceptibility to multiple autoimmune diseases," Nature Genetics, January 30, 2017 

Photo Louis Luttrell

Dr. Lou Luttrell"The conformational signature of arestin3 predicts its trafficking and signaling functions," Nature, March 31, 2016