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Office of the Vice President for Research


South Carolina Research Foundation

The South Carolina Research Foundation is an element in the University's strategy for research growth, supporting faculty efforts, and helping the University faculty with their scholarship goals.

Formed in 1997, the South Carolina Research Foundation (SCRF) is a major initiative to increase the support for faculty doing research at USC. The SCRF provides greater flexibility and competitiveness in implementing research grants and contracts, building infrastructure, and developing intellectual property for the faculty. Management responsibilities of the SCRF include USC's intellectual technology licensing program and the USC Columbia Technology Incubator.

The SCRF is governed by a Board of Directors drawn from public- and private-sector leadership to bring the broad range of backgrounds, expertise and perspectives necessary to make strategic decisions. The board includes 10 external and six internal members. The six internal members are the USC President, the Provost, the Vice President for the Division of Research and Graduate Education, the Foundations Director, a member of the Faculty Advisory Council (appointed by the president) and a member of the Council of Academic Deans (appointed by the president).


S.C. Research Foundation Board of Directors

UofSC President Michael Amiridis

Dr. Michael Amiridis, President, University of South Carolina

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Former Chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago (2015-2022) • Former University of South Carolina Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (2009-2015) • American Institute of Chemical Engineers Fellow (2015) • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow (2012)

Mr. David Black

Mr. David Black, Former President, Liberty Life Insurance Company

B.S. in Economics (summa cum laude), Clemson University • Executive Program at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia • J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law • Vice President, Hollings Cancer Center Advisory Board, Medical University of South Carolina • Member, Trevillian Cabinet, College of Business and Behavioral Sciences, Clemson University

Jason Caskey

Mr. Jason Caskey, President and Chief Executive Officer of University Foundations

B.S. in Accounting, University of South Carolina • Former financial services practice leader for Elliott Davis accounting firm • Board member, United Way of the Midlands • Former board member of the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the USC Business Partnership Foundation • Darla Moore School of Business Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

Interim Provost Stephen J. Cutler

Dr. Stephen J. Cutler, Dean, USC College of Pharmacy

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Georgia  • Ph.D. in Pharmacy, University of Georgia • Former Dean, College of Pharmacy, University of South Carolina

Kenneth Deans

Mr. Kenneth Deans, President and Chief Executive Officer, Health Sciences South Carolina

B.S. in Liberal Arts , Excelsior College • M.B.A., William and Mary • former Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare • Former board member of The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association and the City of Chesapeake Public Schools Science and Medicine Academy Advisory Board • Former Board Chair, Hampton Roads Tour de Cure 

Mr. Kester S. Freeman

Mr. Kester S. Freeman, Executive Director, South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health

B.S. in Economics, College of William and Mary • Master of Health Administration, Duke University • Founding CEO of Palmetto Health • Founding chairman of the Carolina HealthChoice Network board of directors • Distinguished Service Award, South Carolina Hospital Association

Dr. Julius Fridriksson

Dr. Julius Fridriksson, Vice President for Research, University of South Carolina

B.A., Communicative Disorders, University of Central Florida • M.A., Speech-Language Pathology, University of Central Florida • Ph.D., Speech-Language Pathology, University of Arizona • SmartState Endowed Chair of Memory and Brain Function • USC Health Sciences Distinguished Professor • Co-Director, McCausland Center for Brain Imaging University of South Carolina 

Dick Jones

Richard A. Jones, Jr., Sr. Attorney, Dobson, Jones, Ball, Phillips & Bridges

Attorney • B.S., business administration, USC, 1968 • J.D., USC School of Law, 1972 • Board of Trustees member since 2018

Bob Quinn

Mr. Bob Quinn, President and CEO, South Carolina Research Authority

B.A. Rutgers University • M.A. in Science and Technology Management, George Washington University • Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Management Program • Board member Central SC Alliance, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, SC Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and SC Economics

Dr. Brenda Thames

Dr. Brenda Thames, Vice President for Academic Development, Greenville Health System

B.S. in Home Economics, Mississippi State University • M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling and Ed.D. in Vocational and Technical Education, Clemson University • Former Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Clemson University

Bhavna Vasudeva

Ms. Bhavna Vasudeva, United Real Estate of Columbia

B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations, University of South Carolina • Licensed Realtor • South Carolina Arts Commission • Free Medical Clinic Board • Central Carolina Community Foundation Community Impact Chair 

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