MUSC junior researcher earns state recognition for excellence in scientific research

Julianne Flanagan, Ph.D., awarded 2022 SC Governor’s Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Scientific Research


CHARLESTON, S.C. (June 2, 2022) – Gov. Henry McMaster recognized Julianne Flanagan, Ph.D., for her extraordinary scientific contributions to psychiatry and addiction medicine with the 2022 SC Governor’s Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Scientific Research (YESR). This award is presented annually to a gifted young researcher who has completed no more than 12 years beyond the Ph.D. and has demonstrated the potential for major contributions to his or her discipline.


Flanagan completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont and received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tennessee. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship training at Yale University School of Medicine and joined the faculty at MUSC in 2013. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Defense (DOD) for more than 10 years. Flanagan’s scientific research in mental health has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. 


Her work is focused on developing novel and effective treatments for substance use disorders and co-occurring intimate partner violence (IPV) – both chronic public health problems that pose substantial burdens on our society and health care system. Both substance use disorders and IPV are particularly relevant in South Carolina, as the state currently ranks as the sixth-worst state for its rates of women murdered by men, with a domestic violence homicide rate 1.5 times higher than the national average. Data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence indicates that 41.5% of women and 17.4% of men in South Carolina will experience intimate partner physical or sexual violence or stalking at some point in their lifetimes. 


Since joining MUSC, Flanagan has developed a robust track record of federal funding, scholarly productivity, achievement in education and mentorship and enthusiastic professional citizenship through service activities within and outside of MUSC. She serves as primary or secondary mentor to seven advanced trainees and junior faculty members within and outside the MUSC community. She has overseen and guided numerous trainees who have gone on to obtain career development awards. She is particularly involved in working to help underrepresented minorities and women in South Carolina to achieve their goals of becoming successful, federally funded investigators. 


Frequently sought out for her expertise in the area of addiction and interpersonal violence, Flanagan is a reviewer on the Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health program under the DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. She was elected in 2020 to a four-year term on the national Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) board of directors and selected to be a member of the United Nations Women Ending Violence Against Women and Girls roster of experts. She regularly serves as an expert reviewer on scientific panels for the NIH and VA as well. At the international level, Flanagan has given scientific presentations at numerous international conferences on her work in the area of substance use disorders and intimate partner violence. 


“Dr. Flanagan’s work is impressive and addresses a critical public health issue in our state,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “I’m pleased that Governor McMaster values her accomplishments and potential as a young scientist. This is  well-deserved recognition of Dr. Flanagan and encouragement for other junior researchers who are following in her footsteps.”



About MUSC 


Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $327.6 million in research funds in fiscal year 2021, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. For information on academic programs, visit


As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit


MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $4.4 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver and support groundbreaking education, research and patient care.