GSSM to Honor USC Professor Dr. James A. Carson

January 25, 2016

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) will honor Dr. James A. Carson with its Distinguished Research Leadership Award during the 27th Annual Research Colloquium, 10:00 a.m., Saturday, January 30, 2015, in Hartsville, SC. During the 27th Annual Research Colloquium 114 students will present findings from scientific research conducted during their participation in the 2015 Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI), and its international component, the Research Experience Scholars Program (RESP). 

SPRI and RESP are advanced programs unique to GSSM. For six weeks between their junior and senior years, students conduct research at university or corporate research and development facilities under the mentorship of professional scientists, entrepreneurs or engineers. The students then work with their research mentors and GSSM advisors during their senior year to compile and analyze their research findings and prepare formal research papers. The culmination of summer research is Colloquium, during which, students formally present their projects to their peers, mentors and GSSM faculty. 

The 2016 Distinguished Research Leadership Award Recipient, Dr. James A. Carson, is a professor in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina (USC). He also serves as department chair and as associate director of the Center for Colon Cancer Research. Dr. Carson has been on faculty for more than 16 years and previously served as director of the Division of Applied Physiology and director of Graduate Studies. 

"I am honored to be receiving the Distinguished Research Leadership Award. Over the years, I have found working with [GSSM’s] students very rewarding,” Carson said. “[GSSM’s] program fits well with our mission to allow our nationally competitive research laboratory to incubate an interest in biomedical research in promising students.”

Carson received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Ohio State University.  He then conducted post-doctoral research in physiology, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston and in cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Following his post-doctoral work, Dr. Carson was appointed to the faculty at USC and established a program of muscle biology research. His “Integrative Muscle Biology Laboratory” focuses on biological mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle mass and metabolism, which play a critical role in key health outcomes, including frailty with aging, quality of life and survival of cancer patients. 

Student mentorship in research has been a cornerstone of Dr. Carson’s career and a focus of his laboratory. This mentorship has included students at every level, from high school through Ph.D. He has graduated 10 Ph.D. students and mentored more than 30 high school students in research at USC including more than 25 students through GSSM’s research program. Many of his doctoral graduates have gone on to post-doctoral fellowships at prestigious institutions, including Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

"Dr. Carson is an incredible model of the commitment and qualities that make SPRI research mentors invaluable to our research program, which is why it is such a pleasure to award him GSSM’s Distinguished Research Leadership Award," said Randy La Cross, VP for Outreach and Research at GSSM.


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