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GSSM Honors SCbio at 30th Annual Townes Award Celebration

A couple of men holding a trophy.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 20, 2024) – SCbio, South Carolina’s only economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing and growing the life sciences industry, was awarded the prestigious Townes Award by the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) on Wednesday night.

SCbio was honored this year in recognition of the organization’s achievements in building a leading-edge life sciences industry in South Carolina that creates high quality STEM jobs and improves the health, well-being and upward mobility of people in South Carolina and around the world.

In front of a packed ballroom at the Washington Place in downtown Columbia, SCbio President and CEO James Chappell accepted the award during the 30th annual Townes Award Celebration.

“The life sciences industry is providing a foundation for economic prosperity for South Carolina and a multitude of career opportunities for many generations of students,” said Chappell. “SCbio is thrilled to receive the Townes Award and is committed to celebrating our state’s life sciences industry and its innovators whose achievements bring recognition to the Palmetto State.”

SCbio and its members support GSSM by providing student research opportunities in industry-leading laboratories and career paths for graduates once they enter the workforce.

“GSSM is proud to honor and partner with SCbio,” said GSSM President Danny Dorsel. “The impact that SCbio is having on our state serves to augment the transformative educational opportunities that GSSM provides to students across South Carolina. In teaching students from 3rd grade through high school, GSSM teachers are keenly aware of the growing interest and complexities in the life sciences. I am confident that with the efforts of GSSM and SCbio, future South Carolina leaders in the life science industries will continue to emerge.”

Representing the fastest-growing segment of South Carolina’s economy, SCbio and its more than 180 members are accelerating the growth of the life sciences and adding value to promote the state’s workforce, policy, marketing, entrepreneurship and business development. The annual economic impact of the life sciences segment exceeds $25.7 billion in the Palmetto State.

Since 1993, GSSM has presented the Townes Award to honor individuals, businesses, or institutions that have transformed South Carolina and the world. Past winners have hailed from academic, business and political sectors. Dr. Charles H. Townes (1915-2015) was a native South Carolinian, Furman graduate and Nobel Laureate in physics. In 1964, Dr. Townes received the Nobel Prize for his pioneering research in quantum electronics leading to the invention of the laser.

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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.