Editor's Note: This is the third installment of a 4 part series on regional hot spots for life sciences employment. The final installment focusing on Research Triangle, N.C. will appear in the October 29 issue.

When starting his biotech firm, Psychiatric Genomics, Inc., in Massachusetts last year, Michael Palfreyman found the life sciences business environment a little cramped. "In Boston, real estate prices are through the roof," he says. "There's no good access to incubator space and there's constant competition from other, larger companies for staff." So Palfreyman moved to Gaithersburg, Md., just minutes from the National Institutes of Health and many of the world's foremost genomics firms.

Today, his company, which mines the human genome to generate therapies for mental illnesses, has grown to 30 employees, a growth Palfreyman credits, in part, to the new locale. The Washington, D.C. region "has a strong infrastructure in biotechnology and computer sciences,"...

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