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University Foundations

SmartState Endowed Chair: Dr. Igor Roninson

Dr. Igor Roninson, an internationally-recognized researcher in cancer therapeutics, is the University of South Carolina SmartState Endowed Chair in Translational Cancer Therapeutics, Director of the Center for Targeted Therapeutics ( and a Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences professor at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, a statewide education, research, and service institution formed through the integration of the Colleges of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He has tenure at both institutions.

His principal research interests include developing personalized cancer therapy based on target and drug discovery through functional genomics; functional genomics of aging and longevity; chemical genomics of tumor microenvironment; mechanisms and pharmacological modulation of a damage-inducible signal transduction pathway implicated in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and viral diseases. His many research accomplishments in the cancer field include the development of the methods of functional genomics for identifying novel cancer drug targets and the discovery of chemotherapy-induced senescence in tumor cells.

Dr. Roninson is also the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Senex Biotechnology Inc., a drug discovery and development company he relocated to Columbia, SC, when he accepted his SmartState Endowed Chair. The company focuses on the discovery and development of novel classes of anticancer drugs aimed at molecular targets identified through Dr. Roninson's research; some of the drugs may also have utility in age-related diseases other than cancer.

A prolific researcher and innovator, he holds 41 U.S. patents, was awarded an $11.3 million National Institutes of Health grant (one of the largest in the university’s history) in 2011, and has authored more than 160 articles. Winner of the American Association for Cancer Research Award for Meritorious Achievement in Cancer Research, Dr. Roninson is also a recipient of the Life Extension Prize from the Regenerative Medicine Secretariat.