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The collaborative, funded by the National Science Foundation, brings together close to a dozen colleges and universities to focus on the use of AI in healthcare diagnostics and treatment.


The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year, $20 million grant to a collaborative of South Carolina research institutions to improve the use of AI in healthcare diagnostics and treatment.

The program will not only target research and development of AI-enabled biomedical devices, but improve education and workforce development to build a talent pool and encourage cross-industry partnerships.

The effort is one of many across the country aimed at ensuring the safe and effective use of AI technology in healthcare.

Almost a dozen colleges and universities in South Carolina are joining a federally funded collaborative aimed at using AI technology to improve healthcare diagnostics and treatment.

Clemson University is leading the program, called Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Devices for the Advancement of Personalized and Transformative Health Care in South Carolina (ADAPT-SC). The effort is being funded by a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

“Health innovation has long been a strength at Clemson, and we continue to build a strong platform in AI research,” Tanju Karanfil, Clemson’s vice president for research and a principal investigator for the program, said in a press release issued earlier this month. “ADAPT will bring these two critical fields together to improve the quality of care and life in South Carolina. Ultimately, patients and their families will be the beneficiaries of what we believe will be life-saving research.”

The program is split into three parts:
  1. First, researchers will be working to develop research capacity in AI-enabled biomedical devices to improve the state’s healthcare network, especially in underserved regions.
  2. Second, the program will work to expand and improve education and workforce development in the state to create a more diverse talent pool in biomedical AI.
  3. Third, the program will support interdisciplinary collaborations and academic-industrial partnerships that foster research, education, and technology-transfer integrated programs.

“Healthcare providers face numerous challenges diagnosing disease, or monitoring infections from traumatic injuries, or predicting likely outcomes of various treatment plans,” Bruce Gao, ADAPT-SC’s scientific lead and the South Carolina SmartState Endowed Chair of biofabrication engineering at Clemson, said in the press release. “It is an incredibly difficult job, but AI can remove some of those challenges. In particular, AI can provide expedient information that will help physicians create a care of plan specific to each patient’s condition and medical history.”

Along with Clemson, other members of the program are the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), the University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, the College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, The Citadel, Winthrop University and Tri-County Technical College. The group will also work with SC Bio, a statewide economic development organization and life sciences industry association comprised of some 200 members.

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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.