Jul 14, 2022 - News

D.C. area second in nation for life sciences talent

Top 25 life sciences research talent clusters

San Francisco, who?

The Washington/Baltimore region beats the Bay Area in life sciences research talent, ranking #2 in the nation behind Boston, according to the commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE.

Why it matters: Attracting new jobs is critical to the region’s success, and life sciences is a well-paying and growing field; the number of U.S. graduates in biological and biomedical sciences doubled in 15 years.

  • The pandemic has elevated the sector’s importance, too.

Zoom in: Once dubbed “DNA Alley,” the I-270 corridor in Montgomery County is the industry’s anchor in the region.

  • AstraZeneca, Novavax (which just got the green light for its COVID-19 vaccine), and United Therapeutics are among the firms in the county, along with federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the FDA.
  • The sector has continued to flourish, a bright spot despite the high level of vacant office space in the county.

What’s next: A life sciences hub at a site in North Bethesda, the erstwhile White Flint, where you may remember county officials had once hoped to lure Amazon’s HQ2.

  • County Executive Marc Elrich envisions a work and academic center built on the 15-acre property, owned by Metro and on the Red Line.

Details: Elrich and county officials tell Axios they are finalizing talks with UMD for an academic center dedicated to artificial intelligence, seen as increasingly pivotal in vaccine and biomedical research.

  • The short-term plan is for UMD to open a 25,000-square-foot space at the site, possibly by spring of next year, says Jake Weissmann, a top county economic development official.
  • Down the line, the plan is to find a developer to transform the site into a mixed-use project.

“Our goal is, beef up our life sciences presence and bring in the university role to increase the pipeline of talent,” Elrich says.


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