MUSC Hollings Cancer Center

CoEE in Lipidomics

New MUSC Cancer Research Programs Aim to Create New Therapies and Boost South Carolina Economy

$10 Million Center of Economic Excellence in Lipidomics, Pathobiology and Therapy on Leading-Edge of Research 

January 13, 2010, Charleston, SCThe Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) will establish a Center of Economic Excellence (CoEE) in Lipidomics, Pathobiology and Therapy. The goals of the new center include creating new drugs that would extend the lives of patients with cancer, diabetes, and other inflammation-related diseases, while boosting South Carolina’s economy with spin-off companies and industry investment in discoveries. 

Leading the effort for the center were Lina M. Obeid, MD, MUSC Professor of Medicine; and Yusuf A. Hannun, MD, MUSC Director of the Division of Basic Sciences, Chair of Biochemsitry, and Hollings Cancer Center Deputy Director. 

 “Drs. Hannun and Obeid are internationally recognized pioneers in this field,” said MUSC President Raymond Greenberg, MD, PhD.  “With the new center, we envision building a program that will attract the best investigators from around the world, giving South Carolina a strategic advantage in new discoveries that will benefit a wide range of patients.” 

Lipidomics is the study of a class of molecules in the human body that store energy and are involved in providing structure to cell membranes. Some lipids act as messengers signaling information within cells or between cells and tissues. Lipid cell signaling can regulate cancer cell growth and death.  

“This is a cutting-edge program focused on lipidomics from bench to the bedside. It incorporates research and investigators from MUSC with expertise in cancer, aging, inflammation, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease,” Dr. Obeid said. “The COEE will catapult South Carolina to a clear leadership position in this field.” 

The CoEE program was established by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2002, funded with South Carolina Education Lottery proceeds. The legislation authorizes the state's three public research institutions, MUSC, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina, to use state funds to create CoEEs in research areas that will advance South Carolina's economy.  

Each CoEE is awarded from $2 million to $5 million in state funds that must be matched dollar-for-dollar with non-state funds. The program also supports CoEE endowed chairs, who are world-renowned scientists that lead the CoEEs. By investing in talent and technology, the CoEE program is designed to fuel the state's knowledge-based economy, resulting in high-paying jobs and an improved standard of living in South Carolina. For more information, visit

About Hollings Cancer Center

Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer program in South Carolina. The cancer center and has more than $35M in cancer research funding and more than 200 people are currently participating on a cancer clinical trial at HCC.   

Hollings Cancer Center offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques and has multidisciplinary clinics that involve surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and many other specialists seeing patients under one roof. Multidisciplinary care is provided in disease specific clinics such as thoracic, breast, head & neck, genitourinary, gastrointestinal, hematological, and pediatric cancers. For more information, please visit



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