Editor's Note: This is the fourth and final installment this year of a series that focuses on regional hot spots in the United States
John Hamer, a tenured professor of microbiology at Purdue University, decided he had reached the top of the academic career ladder three years ago and wanted more involvement in technology development. With the genomics and bioinformatics revolution under way, Hamer had his pick of companies and cities. But rather than relocating to an urban biotech center in California or Massachusetts1,2, Hamer settled in Research Triangle Park. "There is a natural beauty to this area," he says. "The weather is a big pull and the cost of living is substantially less" than in competing biotech hotspots.

Bounded by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill-each with a major university-the Research Triangle represents the nation's fifth-largest biotech location, following Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Washington, D.C....

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