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Commentary: MUSC’s innovation district is a generational opportunity

This year, the Medical University of South Carolina is celebrating its bicentennial. Indeed, our legacy is extraordinary and one that elicits pride. And throughout two centuries of service to our community and our state, our purpose has remained steadfast. As South Carolina’s only comprehensive academic health system, we are driven to deliver outstanding health care and excel in educating future generations through innovation and discovery and continually commit ourselves to improving the future. This is what has always set MUSC apart.

In front of us now is a generational opportunity to reach new levels of impact. Our goal is to create an innovation district that will become a vibrant ecosystem that opens doors for researchers, students and entrepreneurs, thereby raising our community in numerous ways.

Imagine a district in the heart of Charleston with an impact throughout the state and nation. Imagine a district where universities, corporations, manufacturers, dreamers and philanthropists come together to create a new level of what is possible.

Imagine an environment where people can see, feel and touch our future’s potential. It is a place where innovation thrives, new and creative ideas are nurtured and others will come to seek expertise, provide their knowledge and resources and set the pace for economic growth.

MUSC’s 200-year legacy is one of innovation. From pioneering lifesaving cardiac procedures to leading the nation in telehealth, we consistently have pushed to change what is possible.

In the living book called MUSC, the next chapter is helping to lead a new level of innovation. We feel a great responsibility to participate and help drive the success of South Carolina’s collective future. Creating an environment that fuels the economy, creates jobs and develops scientific breakthroughs is paramount to the health and well-being of everyone across our state. As we have grown over the past 200 years, we have found collaboration at the center of everything we do, and it is an essential component of innovation.

Our vision is ambitious, but so was that of the seven physicians who founded the Medical College of South Carolina in 1824. Will there be challenges? Undoubtedly. Can we succeed? Absolutely.

Bold undertakings don’t just happen. Success will require all of us ─ in our community and our state ─ to lean in and help transform this vision into a reality that will set the standard not just for MUSC but for South Carolina and the nation.

We believe in the proverb, “Fortune favors the bold.” Please join me and the entire MUSC family, 31,000 strong across South Carolina, as we work with our community and state leadership to ensure an even brighter future and well-being for every South Carolinian.

David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, is president of the Medical University of South Carolina. ‌

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.