COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The University of South Carolina is getting a $28 million grant to establish a center to coordinate research on birth defects and disabilities.

University spokesman Steven Powell says Suzanne McDermott, a professor in the Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, is leading the work on the five-year grant.

The center will coordinate research and fellowships for the CDC's National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

The center will solicit research proposals, conduct reviews of those proposals and make recommendations to the CDC for funding. Potential areas of research include the causes of birth defects and developmental disabilities, blood disorders such as hemophilia and sickle cell disease, and health risks to children in early life.

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