MUSC Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center in Precision Medicine and Minority Men's Health

Research Projects

Figure of TCC Research Focus

Sociobiological responses to stress in prostate cancer survivors

This project examines the effects of stress reactions and allostatic load on immune responses to a prostate cancer vaccine among survivors at high risk for recurrence.

Project Co-leader: Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D.
Project Co-leader: Michael Lilly, M.D.

Defining an integrated allostatic load index with immune and tumor microenvironment factors

This project identifies novel biomarkers for prostate cancer based on metabolites, glycans, and immune modulators in clinical prostate cancer biopsy samples, prostatectomy tissues, tissue microarrays. We also characterize the distribution of these biomarkers based on allostatic load, racial background, social factors, and psychological characteristics

Project Leader: Richard Drake, Ph.D.

Integrating genomic and sociobiological data to inform the development of prostate cancer treatment

This project evaluates the effects of Vitamin D supplementation on molecular changes in prostate cancer tissue. We will also examine the effects of Vitamin D on HPA axis functioning and allostatic load biomarkers to determine individual response to supplementation.

Project Leader: Stephen Savage, M.D.

Research Cores

Consortium Core

  • Establish national infrastructure to support minority men's health and precision medicine
  • Identify priorities for precision medicine research among diverse academic, community, clinical, and public health stakeholders
  • Implement and monitor pilot project research to address minority men’s health in precision medicine
  • Translate findings from TCC research into clinic and community-based practices to address racial disparities among minority men

Core Leader: Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D.

Core Co-leader: Michael Lilly, M.D.
Core Co-leader: Stephen Either, Ph.D.

Implementation Core

  • Determine the needs, readiness, and capacity of stakeholders to implement and adopt precision medicine approaches into clinical care and public health practice
  • Identify ethical, legal, and social issues related to linking and integrating data on biological, social, psychological, behavioral, and clinical factors and develop recommendations to address these issues
  • Deliver Evidence Academies in the MUSC TCC Consortium to actively engage diverse stakeholders in the development of best practices for implementing precision medicine interventions into practice

Core Co-leader: Cathy Melvin, Ph.D.
Core Co-leader: Gayenell Magwood, Ph.D.

Data Integration Core

  • Create a standards-based resource using REDCap to integrate data across TCC research projects
  • Develop natural language processing-based tools to identify stressors in electronic health record systems
  • Integrate clinical and experimental data into longitudinal patient records to expand data sets to represent the chronological order of significant clinical and social events surrounding the timing of a critical cancer diagnosis
  • Use data mining strategies to determine the temporal links between allostatic load and disease risk and outcomes

Core Leader: Leslie Lenert, M.D.

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