GSSM Honors SCbio at 30th Annual Townes Award Celebration

March 21, 2024

(Middle) SCbio president and CEO James Chappell celebrates with his team.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – 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.

GSSM is now accepting applications for its Residential program on a space-available basis. Prospective students can apply at

Applications are open for GSSM’s summer camp, GoSciTech, which features three formats: Residential, Day and Virtual. To learn more about summer camps as GSSM, visit

For more information on GSSM, visit or call 843-383-3900. 


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About the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics

One of the few specialized public residential high schools of its kind, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) exists to push motivated young learners beyond their perceived levels of academic ability. Founded in 1988 under the leadership of the late Governor Carroll Campbell, GSSM has consistently raised the bar for STEM education in the Palmetto State. GSSM’s two-year residential high school program—as well as its virtual high school program, summer camps, and outreach programs—all invite young people to explore the subjects they love in a diverse, inclusive, and uncommonly supportive academic environment. Here, challenge is viewed as a gateway to opportunity. GSSM students embrace the school’s rigorous approach to education and in so doing begin to realize their full potential. Learn more by visiting

About SCbio

SCbio is South Carolina’s investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. SCbio represents more than 1,000 organizations employing more than 87,000 professionals across the state and supports and advances organizations in multiple arenas including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, digital health, research and medical labs, bioscience distribution, bio-ag and more. For additional information about SCbio and the life sciences industry, visit