Clemson alumnus returns to SC to head SCBIO.

In May, Sam Kondorus stepped away from what he called a "four-year honeymoon" at the helm of SCBIO to lead the private cannabis treatment startup KOR Medical.

Since then, the life science development group has scoured the country for his successor and vetted 200 candidates: concluding with James Chappell, an executive with Louisiana Economic Development.

"As a South Carolina native, I am thrilled to join SCBIO and return home," Chappell said in a news release. "South Carolina has become an emerging leader in life sciences, and I am excited to continue SCBIO's great work in helping to grow the life sciences industry."

Chappell, whose career also includes time with Chartic Management Consulting in Boston, joined Louisiana Economic Development in 2013 and held positions of increasing responsibility at the organization, including executive director of state economic competitiveness, before being named the organization's executive director of competitiveness and entrepreneurship in 2021, according to the release.

During his tenure at Louisiana Economic Development, Chappell designed and implemented the state's $100 million venture capital and small business funds, developed strategies to recruit international companies to the state and joined the Louisiana MediFund board to develop strategies to foster the biosciences and health care industries in Louisiana.

Chappell earned his B.S. and M.S. in plant environmental sciences from Clemson University, his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and a postdoctoral fellowship in stem cell biology focusing on cancer and diabetes from Harvard Medical School. A three-year varsity football letterman while at Clemson, he is married with two children. He will begin his new role with SCBIO on Nov. 8.

"Competition for the position was extremely strong but we unanimously felt that his credentials in both life sciences and economic development were the precise mix we sought as we continue to build, advance and grow the industry in South Carolina," Lou Kennedy...

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