Center for Inflammation and Fibrosis Research
Inflammation and Fibrosis Research Center of Economic Excellence
Inflammation and fibrosis are fundamental aspects of two rheumatic diseases - lupus and scleroderma - each having pathobiologic pathways relevant to many other diseases characterized by inflammation and fibrosis such as arthritis, heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis and chronic kidney disease. In the fall of 2009, the Department of Medicine’s Division of Rheumatology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina proposed the creation of a Center of Economic Excellence in Inflammation and Fibrosis. In June 2010, the Division received notification that the proposal had been approved. A major component of the center is a consortium of Rheumatologists interested in participating in clinical and translational research. We would like to provide some background information on this unique opportunity.
Centers of Economic Excellence
From 2003 to 2008, South Carolina’s (SC) legislature set aside $30,000,000 from the SC Education Lottery to provide matching dollars for the state’s three research institutions. These funds are to be used to fund endowed chairs that will allow the university to recruit outstanding translational scientists to our state. These endowed chairs are created within a framework called a Center of Economic Excellence. These Centers are selected for funding on the basis of both scientific and economic impact after a lengthy review process. Most Centers are approved with a budget of $10,000,000, with the sponsoring university raising $5,000,000 and the state matching that sum dollar-for-dollar. The university has an 18-month timeline for securing pledge commitments. Pledges can be fulfilled within five years. The deadline for securing pledges for the Center of Economic Excellence in Inflammation and Fibrosis Research is December, 2011. The deadline for completing pledges is December 2016. As of August 2011, more than $3.1 million has been committed in gifts and pledges.
MUSC’s Center of Economic Excellence in Inflammation and Fibrosis Research
The Center for Inflammation and Fibrosis Research builds upon a strong foundation of clinical translational research in two connective tissue diseases - scleroderma, a disease characterized by widespread fibrosis, and lupus, a disease characterized by immune-mediated inflammation – conducted by investigators in the Division of Rheumatology & Immunology at MUSC. Insights gained from studies of these diseases will have therapeutic implications for multiple other fibrosing and inflammatory conditions affecting millions of patients. Some of these more common and prevalent diseases include arthritis, heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis and chronic kidney disease. In addition to our current cadre of clinicians and basic science investigators, the Center will recruit two more scientists who are experts in this field, and will aid us in our mission to identify, characterize and test new molecular targets of fibrosis and inflammation.
Components of the Inflammation and Fibrosis Research Center of Economic Excellence
The success of the Center will result in a fully funded Center which will house two endowed chairs. It will expand the already significant research base in inflammation and fibrosis discovery. One chair will be the Endowed Chair in Inflammation Research, and the other will be the Endowed Chair in Fibrosis Research. Each chair will have a value of $2 million which will be used to recruit and retain outstanding investigators to aid in anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic drug development. It is truly remarkable and cutting-edge and we hope you will become a part of the success.
Make a Gift
Contributions may be made payable to MUSC Foundation–Inflammation and Fibrosis Research Center of Economic Excellence and may be mailed to Jane McCullough, Director of Development, Department of Medicine, 96 Jonathan Lucas Street, Suite 803CSB, Charleston, SC 29425.
Pledges may be made for a multi-year period not to exceed five years.
Other giving options to consider include donating appreciated assets such as stocks, bonds, or real estate. Our development staff would be pleased to work with you and your financial advisors on the best way for you to make a charitable contribution to assist our efforts and enhance your tax advantages.
For more information, please contact Jane McCullough at (843) 792-7694 or (800) 810-9872 or e-mail at email@example.com. More detailed information on this project is available as well as opportunities to meet with the scientific leaders in the Division of Rheumatology & Immunology whose vision has created the Inflammation and Fibrosis Research Center of Economic Excellence.
Thank you for your consideration of supporting this effort. Please know that any level of contribution will help us reach this very lofty goal. Thank you for giving hope to patients who suffer from these connective tissue diseases.