Dual-degree Training Programs
One of the strengths of the College of Graduate Studies is its dual-degree training programs and training grants. Through partnerships with other colleges at MUSC, including medicine, pharmacy, and dental medicine, the College offers dual-degree programs designed to prepare students to become independent investigators who will work in research environments at universities, for the government, or with industry.
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)(M.D./Ph.D. program):
The MSTP was approved officially by the university in 1966. Dr. Eugene Woods was the first director followed by Dr. James Ballenger. In 1980, Dr. Rosalie Kelsey Crouch revitalized the program when she worked with Dr. Layton McCurdy, dean of the College of Medicine, to secure funding to recruit and develop students interested in combining medicine and research. She nurtured this program and its students, building a successful foundation for subsequent expansion. In 1987 Dr. Perry V. Halushka was named the program director and expanded the program from about a dozen students to its current size of approximately sixty students. In 1999 the program was awarded an NIH training grant on its first submission, an extraordinary accomplishment. Since then it has had two successful competing renewals. The program has graduated eighty-five students, many of whom have entered academic careers as physician-scientists.
The Dental Scientist Training Program (DSTP) (D.M.D/Ph.D. program):
The DSTP was initiated in 1999 to develop well-trained investigators in dental, oral, and craniofacial research. After their first year of dental school, students pursue a research project, which may take as long as four years. After the conclusion of their research projects, students complete their dental education. The initial National Research Service Award (T32 training grant), a five-year grant from the National Institute of Health, was awarded in 2006 to Steven London, D.D.S., Ph.D. It was renewed in 2011 by Keith L. Kirkwood, D.D.S., Ph.D., director of the Center for Oral Health. The Department of Craniofacial Biology currently has a roster of thirty-one faculty members who have primary or secondary appointments within the College of Graduate Studies. The DSTP presently exists within the Craniofacial and Oral Health Research training program based in the College of Dental Medicine.
The Pharm.D./Ph.D. Training Program, was started in 2002 by Dr. Rick G. Schnellmann, who continues to be its director. The Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences provides training to professional and graduate students on the fundamentals of the physical and biological sciences that underlie health-related research. With NIH training-grant support, research training in the department encompasses the understanding of disease mechanisms, drug action and toxicity, and the design and development of pharmaceutical agents.