March 20, 2023

mcclendon photoSouth Carolina IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE) is a statewide $18.9 million, five-year renewable grant program funded by The National Institute of General Medical Sciences. As part of the Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program (BIPP), which focuses on Biomedical Science and independent, faculty-driven research, Dr. Chakia McClendon, Assistant Professor of Biology at Columbia College, will receive up to $10,000 for one year of research. 

Dr. McClendon’s research, entitled Kinome Expression Profiling of Airway Cells Exposed to Electronic and Conventional Cigarettes will be centered around the effects of vaping products on airway health. She is currently managing a pilot project on testing affected epithelial cells after acute exposure to conventional cigarettes and electronic cigarette vapors. In response to receiving SC INBRE BIPP grant funds, Dr. McClendon shared, “The SC INBRE-BIPP award has provided resources needed to generate preliminary data. This pilot data will support an application for SC INBRE-Developmental Research Project Program (DRP) funding. SC INBRE-DRP funding will allow us to explore the kinomic signals that involve impacted biological processes such as cell motility, cell proliferation and cell adhesion. Ultimately, the information gained by this project will help to understand the adverse outcome pathways under electronic cigarette vapor exposure and provide information about the health risk of vaping products. In addition, this funding will allow me to pay undergraduate student researchers to help with this project.” 

Dr. McClendon shares that her favorite part of her job is witnessing the growth in confidence that her students display over time, whether it be presenting data at a science meeting or actively participating in a class activity. Because of resources like SC INBRE grant funds and the support she receives from her colleagues at Columbia College, Dr. McClendon is able to do more of what she loves and watch her students learn to love it as well, furthering the good work of Columbia College preparing students personally and professionally to live lives of impact. 

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