Journalists’ Reference Guide

Biotech & Medical Research

The Greater Seattle area and Washington state are among the leading centers in the United States for biotechnology and medical research. The theoretical research conducted at the University of Washington and its world-class medical school, coupled with the applied research conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center — the largest program in the world devoted to cancer prevention and research — drive the development of this new industry. Greater Seattle researchers have won two Nobel Prizes in medicine in recent years.

Today, more than 50 Washington state firms are known to specialize in biotechnology and medical research, including Advanced Technology Laboratories, Amgen, Physio-Control and ZymoGenetics. According to the Brookings Institute, Greater Seattle’s research and development alliances are worth $692 million, the fifth largest in the country. In addition, the region can boast of more than 1,800 life scientists. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest foundation in the world, provides funding for health care initiatives throughout the developing world. It has helped make Greater Seattle an important medical research and health center.