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Noted Cancer Researcher V.K. Gadi to Keynote 2023 Life Sciences Conference; Registration Soars

VK Gadi

Tomorrow Starts Here conference features 40+ speakers on mission-critical topics; over 500 national industry leaders gather Feb. 21-23 to learn, connect and celebrate state’s growth

Dr. Gadi will join more than 40 additional speakers as featured presenters at Tomorrow Starts Here, the largest life sciences conference ever convened in Palmetto State history, being held February 21-23 at the Gaillard Center in the heart of Charleston, S.C.

Dr. Gadi — a widely recognized and published physician-scientist and medical oncologist – serves as Deputy Director of the heralded University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) Cancer Center, which he joined in 2020 and is shepherding towards NCI designation. His laboratory research has made foundational contributions in the fields of immunology, cancer biology, diagnostics, and therapeutics, and he has helped to cofound several biotech companies focused on those areas.

A passionate mentor to eager learners from high school students to corporate CEOs, Dr. Gadi, spent 20 years at the Univ. of Washington and Fred Hutch Cancer Center before moving to UIC.  He is a graduate of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Univ. of Alabama – Birmingham with PhD and MD degrees.

His keynote presentation — Carpe Futurum: Achieving Breakthroughs that Work for All – highlights how the amazing changes occurring in science and medicine are changing how we live, diagnose and cure diseases while emphasizing that we must develop diagnostics, drugs and deliver outcomes that work for all parties and not just a select few.

Presented by sponsoring organizations Nephron Nitrile, Truist, Charles River Labs, Fisher Scientific, SCRA and other top organizations, the conference expects to draw a sell-out of over 500 registrants from dozens of states and multiple foreign countries.

Other top speakers include Shlomi Uziel, CEO of AI innovators Quai.MD of Israel; Thomas Freund, U.S. site leader for Swiss medical company SHL Medical; Dr. Akwasi Asabere, Executive Director of Partnerships for genomics leaders Helix; Ms. Carle Falk, head of research for healthcare automation experts Notable; Matt Szuhaj, Managing Director of Finance & Enterprise for Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco; David Koerner, co-founder of U.S. Performance Center; Ibraheem Badejo of Ethicon – J&J;  Shawn Saulsberry of Ernst & Young and more than 30 others.

Themed “Tomorrow Starts Here,” the 2-day event features 23 speaker sessions, including Innovation at Home, Transforming Healthcare Digitally, Health Trends: Tomorrow Starts Here, and Reshoring & Onshoring – all topics driving the state’s fastest growing industry: life sciences.

Registrants from over 25 U.S. states and six countries have already committed to attend as ticket availability dwindles, organizers noted. Already more than 150 organizations from every facet of life sciences are signed on to be in Charleston for the fast-growing conference. Attendees include officials involved in medical devices, bio manufacturing, drug discovery, R&D, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and testing, digital health and health IT, bio-ag and more.  A mix of essential industry partners from finance, construction, services, law, accounting and marketing will also be on hand.

A $25.7 billion annual industry in South Carolina and growing faster than in any other Southeastern state. Conference attendees include national pharma and medtech executives, economic developers, leaders from South Carolina’s research universities, healthcare executives, business and financial industry officials, national media and others.

The conference features an expanded – and sold out — exhibit hall showcasing scores of life sciences industry businesses, institutions of higher learning and essential support industry partners from across America. A highlight of the annual conference is the presentation of the prestigious Pinnacle Awards by South Carolina Life Sciences to the outstanding 2023 Organization of the Year and Individual of the Year. Also honored will be an industry Rising Star under 40 years of age. 

SCBIO CEO James Chappell will deliver a highly anticipated “State of South Carolina’s Life Sciences Industry” address, while hundreds of attendees take advantage of meetings, receptions and connection sessions.

Full details are available online under Events at, and registration to attend the 2-day conference is still open online while tickets remain.  Registration is free or discounted to SCBIO investors, and the conference is open to interested members of the public. Special sessions and pricing are available to students, faculty and teachers interested in life sciences careers or partnerships at steeply discounted prices.

The 2-day conference annually draws attendees from across America for networking, innovation updates, opportunity discovery, partnership making and strategic discussion. Already committed attendees include officials across a broad spectrum of life sciences industries, including medical devices, bio manufacturing, drug discovery, R&D, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and testing, digital health, bio-ag and more.

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 device, industrial, environmental, and agricultural biotechnology products.  Governor Henry McMaster has made life sciences a top state priority to continue to grow and expand the industry in the Palmetto State. For additional information on SCBIO or to register for SCBIO 2023, 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.