Our Team

The Project Quit team at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is dedicated to improving treatment for smokers who are trying to kick the habit. Our team is comprised of committed and focused researchers with varied backgrounds, including psychiatrists, psychologists, medical doctors, physician assistants, biostatisticians, and research support personnel of study coordinators and research assistants. The group is based out of the Addiction Sciences Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and works collaboratively with the other campus research groups like the South Carolina Tobacco Research Group (SCTRIG).

Initially established to focus on a quit smoking study to assist adolescents, the Project Quit team has expanded to include other active research—both treatment based and observational—to better understand tobacco use disorder. The focus of the team is to explore the potential to improve treatment outcomes through the spectrum of tobacco users from adolescence through adulthood.
Lead Investigator
Erin A. McClure, PhD
Dr. McClure is a behavioral psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. McClure earned her B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Allegheny College in 2003, and earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2009. Go Gators! She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. McClure’s research interests focus broadly on improving strategies to treat cigarette smoking and study the complex process of relapse, while integrating technology to improve research and treatment efforts. Dr. McClure enjoys being outside and loves hiking and playing volleyball. Dr. McClure also loves the food scene in Charleston and cooking at home with husband and sous chef, Eric.
Affiliated Investigators
Matthew Carpenter, PHD
Dr. Carpenter is a clinical psychologist by training, and has leading tobacco-related research for 20+ years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in 1993, masters (1998) from Loyola University in Baltimore MD, and his doctoral degree (2003) from the University of Vermont. He joined the MUSC faculty in 2006, and currently serves as co-Leader of the Cancer Control Program at the Hollings Cancer Center. Dr. Carpenter leads a number of clinical trials for smoking cessation and evaluation of alternative tobacco products. When not at work, he tries to keep up with his active family (wife Laura, 3 kids, and 1 dog), usually in an attempt to see the world or to get lost in the woods. When all else fails, a good book on a sunny day will suffice just fine.
Kevin Gray, M.D.
Dr. Gray is a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who has dedicated his career to helping young people struggling with substance use. After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Clemson University, Dr. Gray completed medical school, psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at MUSC. His research focuses on developing innovative tobacco cessation and marijuana cessation treatments. Dr. Gray has maintained active clinical and research practice since joining the MUSC faculty in 2005. He is a nationally recognized leader in clinical, research, education and policy initiatives to improve adolescent substance use outcomes. A native of South Carolina, Dr. Gray enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, and is proud to raise a family in this beautiful area.
Xingbao Li , M.D.
Dr. Li earned his M.D. and M.S. in China. In 2019, Dr. Li completed his Master of Science in Clinical Research at MUSC. He has been working in the Brain Stimulation Lab since 2000. He is also a faculty member at the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI) at MUSC. His research interests include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), functional MRI, and combining TMS and functional MRI techniques in neuropsychiatry, especially in substance abuse. Dr. Li is a pioneer in using TMS for smoking cessation. US NIH has awarded Dr. Li in the development of addiction therapy since 2014. He loves to walk a trail with his wife on the weekend. He also enjoys family travel with his two adult daughters.
Michael Saladin, PHD
Dr. Saladin is a licensed psychologist, clinical scientist and Professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Research, College of Health Professions. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He has been a faculty member at MUSC for more than 25 years and has served as Principal/Co-Investigator on numerous NIH-funded clinical trials and laboratory-based studies in the area of addiction, with a focus on how learning/memory processes impact substance use disorders and how sex hormones affect smoking behavior and cessation. Outside of his research pursuits and clinical care work, Dr. Saladin enjoys mountain travel, backpacking, and trekking all over the world.
Tracy Smith, PHD
Dr. Tracy Smith earned her PhD in Biological and Health Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and has been conducting research related to nicotine and tobacco for 8 years. The primary goal of her research is to improve public health by providing information about how to regulate tobacco products, including both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Dr. Smith is originally from South Carolina and earned her undergraduate degree from College of Charleston. When she’s not at work, Tracy spends as much time as possible by the ocean with her family.
Research Staff
Kemi Chukwuka-White
Kemi is a Program Coordinator II in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 2008 and a master’s in Medical Science from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2019. Her research interests are broad and include addiction sciences, vulnerable populations, and the influence of behavioral or social processes on health outcomes. Kemi enjoys traveling with her husband, Justin, interior decorating, reading, event planning, and spending quality time with loved ones including her moody American Eskimo puppy, Ammy.
Lizzy Bradley
Lizzy is a Program Coordinator who joined the team in 2017 after graduating from the College of Charleston. At CofC, she earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and completed an internship at the Public Defender’s Office while maintaining an active presence in the local art community. She began working for the Project Quit team because she has a passion for improving public health and helping those struggling with addiction. In her time outside of work, Lizzy is always working on a range of artistic pursuits such as painting, illustrating, sewing, and sculpting. When she isn’t feeling creative, she can be found taking a walk with her partner or playing with the 7 stray cats who have taken up residence in the backyard of her downtown home.
Ben Laprise
Ben is a Research Assistant. He graduated with a B.A from the University of South Carolina. After arriving to MUSC in 2019, Ben has enjoyed working collaboratively with the Project Quit team to solve problems and improve research. He also enjoys meeting with participants and seeing their progress. When not working, Ben is running, or recovering from running. He also enjoys reading about the Social Sciences.