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Worcester is key and fertile ground in Mass. life sciences ‘ecosystem’

Dr. Jeanne Lawrence, a professor at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, looked at slides of cells in 2013. She discovered a way to silence the extra chromosome in Down syndrome.The Boston Globe/Boston Globe

Containing the life sciences cluster within Cambridge may be unsustainable but containing it in this region makes so much sense.

Catherine Carlock’s front-page June 5 article (“Cracks in the ‘ecosystem?’ ”) makes great points about the challenges that might result from too much lab space in Eastern Massachusetts. We have to think bigger about how to build the entire state of Massachusetts into a life sciences hub that supports the growing industry.

In Worcester, the life sciences cluster is bursting at the seams. We can’t build space fast enough for the companies that are growing in the region. Worcester is the second-largest city in New England, with existing transportation infrastructure that can meet the growing need, innovative strategies to foster a workforce that supports life sciences, and more sustainable lab rents.


Home to more than 50 biotech companies; 11 colleges and universities, including the UMass Chan Medical School and Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and AbbVie’s Bioresearch Center, Worcester complements Cambridge and the Boston area to build Massachusetts into the greatest life sciences cluster in the world.

The answer is not to stop building lab space but rather to use every inch and asset of the Commonwealth.

Jon Weaver

President and CEO

Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives


MBI is a life sciences incubator.