Editor's Note: This is the second installment of a four-part series on regional hot spots for life sciences employment. Additional installments will appear in the July 9 and October 29 issues.

San Francisco Bay Area boosters like to claim the title "Birthplace of Biotech" as their own. After all, the initial developments in recombinant DNA research took place through a collaboration by the labs of Herbert W. Boyer at University of California at San Francisco and Stanley Cohen at Stanford University.1 Then, the founding of Genentech on April 7, 1976 by Boyer and venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson signaled a potential for a viable industry based on the science and technology derived from that research.2

Now, 25 years later, Genentech is but one of about 500 biotech firms that directly and indirectly account for some 120,000 jobs in the Bay Area. Most of the firms employ fewer than...

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