Biotechs have expanded along spokes of an imaginary wheel from Indianapolis

When Keith Dunker, a professor of biochemistry at Washington State University, got an offer to head a new bioinformatics department at Indiana University's School of Medicine, he hesitated. "It took me more than three months to decide," he says. "I love the mountains and the ocean and this is, after all, Indiana."

Like Rodney Dangerfield, Indiana gets no respect. Known mostly for corn, college basketball, and car racing, Indiana actually houses pharmaceutical research powerhouses, agricultural biotechnology companies, and medical device manufacturers. It also hosts the second largest US medical school at IU and two of the top three universities for analytical chemistry--all in an area known for low-cost quality living.

But Indiana's campaign to become a biotechnology hotspot ultimately attracted Dunker. "The private companies, universities, and state and local governments are all cooperating to push biotech to the forefront,"...

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