GREENWOOD, S.C., June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- South Carolina will increase its role in world-class genetics research through a partnership that represents a cornerstone of economic development in Greenwood County, S.C.
The Greenwood Genetic Center, in conjunction with Clemson University, will expand existing facilities of the J.C. Self Research Institute to add a 17,000-square-foot research and education center in human genetics on 15 county-donated acres.
Clemson University's Center for Human Genetics will recruit research and development companies engaged in human diagnostics, cognitive development, central nervous system, autism, birth defects, cancer, and inflammatory diseases. The collaborative will seek new discoveries in genetic diagnostics and epigenetic therapeutics.
The project will expand Clemson University's doctoral program in human genetics, create an internationally competitive research and development team, and expand research at the Self Institute.
Clemson University President James Barker said the Greenwood Genetic Center will open its campus to Clemson scientists to research diagnostics and therapeutics with potential to provide immediate diagnosis of a variety of diseases. The Genetic Center and Clemson will evaluate research to create novel diagnostics that may be used to predict efficacy of therapeutics for targeted diseases, and provide early diagnostic tests. The research has potential to identify better treatments for such disorders as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease with high prevalence in South Carolina.
Steven Skinner, Greenwood Genetic Center director and senior clinical geneticist, said the collaboration with Clemson provides the foundation for advancement of genetic diagnosis and therapeutics for patients globally.
"A clear diagnosis combined with understanding the mechanisms of disease are what lead to effective therapies and improved quality of life for patients and their families," Skinner said. "This partnership will hasten the pace of progress and enhance the recognition of South Carolina as home to one of the nation's most productive and important facilities for genetics research and development."
The initiative represents a cornerstone of Greenwood County's economic development strategy, noted Mark Warner, CEO of Greenwood Partnership Alliance, tasked with enhancing economic growth in Greenwood County.
"The state will benefit from increased research, development and manufacturing with potential to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs during the next decade," said Warner.
Sam Patrick, Patrick Marketing
SOURCE Greenwood Partnership Alliance