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Time Magazine Dubs Montgomery County "DNA Alley"

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

The current issue of Time magazine dubs Montgomery County's I-270 Technology Corridor as "DNA Alley" for the work of the numerous biotechnology, academic institutions and federal facilities that line the 15-mile stretch of the corridor from Bethesda to Germantown.

Time magazine writer Carole Buia writes: "Like California's Silicon Valley and Massachusetts' Route 128, Montgomery County, Md., has been transformed in the past decade from a sleepy suburb into a bustling scientific Mecca. The 15-mile stretch of Interstate 270 that runs from Bethesda to Gaithersburg now houses one of the world's largest and smartest collections of genomic firms. The chief draw is the NIH, which dispenses $14 billion a year in research grants. But there are other attractions - proximity to Johns Hopkins, a start-up-friendly local government, an abundance of office space; and most of all, a critical mass of like-minded scientist-entrepreneurs determined to unravel the secrets of the genome and spin them into gold."

In the issue, Dr. Craig Venter, president and chief scientific officer at Rockville's Celera Genomics, was named a runner-up for Time's annual Man of the Year honor. Venter was also recently named by the A&E channel as co-Biography of the Year, along with NIH's Francis Collins. Celera's private-sector role in mapping the human genome was lauded as "trailblazing work" and was honored by President Clinton during a White House ceremony this summer.

Montgomery County was also featured in the November 27, 2000 issue of Fortune magazine, in an article titled "A Genetic Map: Biotechs Flock to Rockville." In the piece, reporter Julia Boorstin writes, "In the past few years Rockville, Md., a quiet suburb of Washington, D.C., has become one of the biggest hubs of biotech research, especially in the cutting-edge field of genomics…Montgomery County provides tax breaks for biotech companies and has created the Shady Grove Life Sciences Park, a 300-acre area zoned for biotech, research, and medical offices." The spread also features an aerial map of the I-270 Technology Corridor, highlighting major public and private biotech players in the area. 

Release ID: 00-463
Media Contact: David Weaver 240-777-6530, Kristina Ellils 240-777-2024