Life Sciences

The Chesterfield in downtown Durham's Brightleaf District will become a medical research building.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

From tobacco to medicine.

One of downtown Durham's last remaining empty buildings will open for business again, and it's attracting medical research this time around.

HCC Public Information Office Biotechnology Program

The Research Triangle is dotted with life sciences research and development companies, and Big Pharma operates sizeable manufacturing facilities in surrounding counties. The industry is a big player in North Carolina’s economy. It supports high-paying jobs, and in 2016 alone, it contributed an estimated $86 billion to the state’s economy.

Students on a lawn at N.C. State University
Scott Akerman via Flickr

Many studies show that students in rural counties are less likely to go to college, especially four-year or private institutions. Faced with that reality, some university leaders are reconsidering how to attract students from rural communities.

At North Carolina State University, leaders are expanding their current programs that serve and prepare high school students. Earlier this year, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received a $3 million endowment from a Raleigh couple to help rural students win admission to the university.

creative commons
creative commons / creative commons

Scientists generally understand that healthy bodies and healthy minds are related, but the interaction between the two isn’t as clear.

RTP headquarters.
Ildar Sagdejev

GlaxoSmithKline hosted a gathering today in RTP for policy, non-profit and business leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Jack Bailey, a Senior Vice President at GSK, says there are well over 100,000 North Carolinians working in the Life Sciences, 5,000 of them at his company.

“So it’s a very big important industry, it’s created a lot of jobs," Bailey says. "And really what we want to do today is start a discussion on how, at this great change in health care, we can make sure both federal, state and local policy decisions get made that continue to accelerate that innovation that comes out of companies like GSK.”