July 2020 update from Interim Director Denis Guttridge, Ph.D.

Denis Guttridge, Ph.D.
July 08, 2020
Interim Director Denis Guttridge, Ph.D.

Dear friends of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center,

I hope this letter finds you healthy and well. In a recent video, MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, shared his thoughts on where we stand with the recent increase in COVID-19 infections across the state. I urge you to watch his address and pay close attention to what he asks of each of us, as we all play a part in keeping Charleston as safe as possible.

At MUSC and Hollings Cancer Center, we continue to make significant strides in curtailing COVID-19 infections through aggressive testing. As we’ve previously mentioned, MUSC and Hollings researchers, through the generosity of our donors, have developed an in-house serological COVID-19 testing kit. This allows us to determine if someone produces antibodies against the virus, which means they’ve already been infected and presumably are immune from being reinfected. Our cancer researchers are using this MUSC kit to test up to 2,000 cases per day. On the genomic side, MUSC is now reaching a testing capacity of 2,500 patients per day and looks to expand that number to track the current infection rates of our population in Charleston and South Carolina. Our No. 1 priority remains keeping our patients, staff and community safe.

Another way we at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center are making sure you stay safe is by rethinking this year’s LOWVELO bicycling fundraiser event to rally our community and state to raise awareness and funding for cancer research. Because of you, last year’s inaugural event had an amazing 660 riders and more than 300 volunteers, who, along with our sponsors, raised more than $900,000! Importantly, every dollar raised in LOWVELO is 100% committed to cancer research at Hollings. Because cancer doesn’t stop with COVID-19, nor do we. For our second year of LOWVELO we ask that you go solo so we can keep everyone safe. That means riding your bike, running or walking, but with one incredibly important goal: to reach 31,710 miles which represents the number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer in South Carolina in 2020. This year, we ride, run or walk in LOWVELO 2020 to raise awareness and funding so we can increase survivorship while still honoring all the loved ones we have lost to this disease. I ask you to join me in this movement by visiting our website when registration opens July 15.

As always, know that I am here for you and open to answering your questions or concerns.

With gratitude,

Denis Guttridge, Ph.D.