CAMBRIDGE — Sitting in a prime booth at Legal Sea Foods in Kendall Square, Michael Gilman can look across the street to the MIT lab where he worked as an undergrad in the early 1970s. A few tables over at Legal, he was once persuaded to switch employers by a Nobel laureate. Now, Gilman works a block to the north, overseeing several drug development programs at Biogen Idec, one of the nation’s biggest biotech companies. Last year, Biogen Idec acquired Gilman’s start-up company, Stromedix, which had its offices a 15-minute walk away.
Gilman’s 30-year career has played out almost entirely between the MIT campus and Cambridge Street, a testament to the thriving ecosystem of companies, research facilities, money, and talent that has made Kendall Square the undisputed center of the life sciences universe.