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Life Sciences Forum to Draw Business, Academia from Across State to Columbia Sept. 14

Half-day program includes featured report on $300M health sciences campus planned for Columbia, 8 programs on workforce and leadership development, and Industry Career Fair

SOUTH CAROLINA – August 22, 2023 – Registration is surging and a full house is expected for SCbio’s Midyear Life Sciences Forum 2023 on Thursday, Sept. 14 in Columbia.  The half-day program is focused on critical issues and opportunities facing the fastest-growing industry in the Palmetto State, while encouraging direct connection and networking between business leaders, academia and students.

 An impressive roster of insightful speakers and open discussions ensure attendees will walk away with inspired ideas and a practical blueprint to further elevate their organization, organizers say.  The event, being held at the Columbia Convention Center, will be kicked off by breakfast and networking from 8 – 9am, with the Opening Address updating attendees on USC’s $300+ million health sciences campus in the BullStreet District.  That report will be delivered by USC Vice President of Research Julius Fridriksson along with BullStreet District lead developer Robert Hughes of Hughes Development.

A Leadership Development track includes on Why South Carolina is Right for Life Sciences with a panel comprised of Dan Nodes, COO of Vikor Scientific; Jody Chastain, CEO of The Ritedose Corporation; and moderator Samantha Spratt, Business Recruitment Officer of the Upstate Alliance.  Following will be a session Overcoming Challenges & Navigating the Future, featuring comments byQuest Diagnostics Southeast Region GM Alan Myers, while wrapping the Leadership track will be Cultivating Belonging: Your Brand’s Secret Weapon, with discussion by Christopher Fortier, Nephron Pharmaceuticals President of 503B Outsource Compounding; Taini Coriano-Navarro, Contamination Control & Sterility Assurance Leader of Cytiva, and Roper Saint Francis Healthcare Melanie Stith, RSFH’s System Chief Administrative Officer.

Workforce track sessions include Workforce: What’s being done? What’s Next? with speakers Tim Hardee, Ph.D. of the SC Technical College System; Stephen Cutler, Ph.D., Dean and Professor at the USC School of Pharmacy; and Erin Ford, COO & EVP of SCbio. Skills-Based Hiring vs. Traditional Methods: More Candidates, Better Fit? Will follow featuring a discussion between Cynthia Young, Ph.D., Founding Dean of the College of Science at Clemson University, and Joseph Spiotta, Talent Acquisition Specialist for SHL Medical.  The closing program of Closing Workforce Gaps for a Stronger Ecosystem will find Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO and Owner Lou Kennedy joining Dean Young and Dean Cutler for an engaging discussion on workforce development.

After closing comments, all speakers and attendees are invited to remain and enjoy a box lunch and open discussions with connections of their choosing following the program.

From 12:30 – 2pm, an Industry Career Fair will provide top college and university students from across the state a chance to meet with 6-8 select life science companies, including Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Rhythmlink International, Charles River Labs, Poly-Med, The Ritedose Corporation and SHL Medical.  Students must register in advance to participate at and will receive a list of available internships and career positions available from companies once registration is completed.

Attendee registration is still available while it lasts and includes breakfast, lunch and the full program. A few places remain for company tables for the Career Fair as well.

Sponsors include SC Power Team, Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, Richland County Economic Development, Dominion Energy, and Find Great People. Register while space remains HERE.

Life sciences is a $25.7 billion annual industry in South Carolina and growing faster than in any other Southeastern state, while SCbio is South Carolina’s investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has more than 1,000 firms directly involved in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical devices, industrial, environmental, and agricultural biotechnology products. 

Governor Henry McMaster has identified life sciences as a top state economic development priority both domestically and globally to continue to grow and expand the industry in the Palmetto State.

For additional information on SCbio, visit

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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.