Transforming Our State

In the early 1980s, Genentech produced the first biotech drug – insulin. North Carolina’s leaders took note and planted the seeds to grow a life sciences sector in North Carolina. In 1984, they formed the North Carolina Biotechnology Center as a private, nonprofit company – the first state-funded effort to grow a state’s life sciences strengths.

Thirty-five years later, in 2019, we had a lot to celebrate. 

A handful of companies had grown to 735. Major names in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and contract research grew – and changed names – and, along with cutting-edge startup companies, employed more than 66,000 of us. The far-reaching ripple effects of this sector supported 240,000 jobs for North Carolinians.

We produced a video series and shared stories - all leading up to an event where we formally celebrated 35 years of life sciences in North Carolina.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

BioPharma Crescent logo

Notes from Our Sponsors

" a proud partner of the NC Biotechnology Center and appreciates the opportunity to strengthen communication throughout the organization with our performance management software platform and consulting services." 

“Congratulations to the staff and board of the NC Biotech Center on their 35th Anniversary! Their leadership and vision has moved our state to the forefront of global life science research and production, particularly in the exciting, revolutionary field of gene therapy. As one of the first communities to develop a bio-processing course of study at Central Carolina Community College, Lee County is pleased to be a partner with NCBC in the growing bio-manufacturing capacity of our region and our state.”

"BE&K Building Group provides comprehensive planning, preconstruction, and construction management services for pharma, biotech, research & development, nutraceutical, and medical device manufacturing clients."

Send Us Your Story

Use the form below to tell us about your favorite memories, success stories and achievements. What has inspired you? What are some of North Carolina's most memorable accomplishments in the life sciences from the last 35 years?


Tell Your Life Science Story Using #LifeSciNC35

Let us know how you've been impacted by NC's life science community.

Post your stories using #LifeSciNC35 across social media. We're active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and will be highlighting North Carolina's transformational life science community from the last 35 years.

Use the following assets on social profiles and in digital materials.

LinkedIn Profile Image

35th Anniversary Event Mark (web)

Making an Impact

Below is a collection of stories about the people and companies that have been transformed by North Carolina's life science community.

Initially, the decision to move our family to North Carolina seemed like a risky move. We had no family here and no knowledge of the area except that it was saturated with life science companies and was alleged to be a "great place to raise a family". It goes without saying that we have found both of those to be very accurate. One thing we were wrong about was that we had no family here. The NC Biotech center has been integral to my development both personally and professionally and its staff, assets, and network have become as familiar as family. As I have grown and progressed I have seen what NCBC has to offer from a host of different perspectives. First, as I searched for a career path NCBC was there to help guide my decision by facilitating jobs networking groups, interest groups, and mentorship. Next, when I had discovered my passion and found a company that I could believe in, the entire NCBC team helped me to bring that company to The Park along with 15 high-paying jobs and plenty of room for growth. Once again, I found myself at the jobs networking group; however, this time I was hiring instead of job seeking! The amazing staff there went out of their way to help me show the value of RTP and open doors for me that I had never known existed. My journey is far from over but I can say, without a doubt, that I am where I am because of the inspiration, dedication, and professionalism of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center Team.

Thank you all for your excellent work and dedication! Very special thank you to Sara Imhof, Laura Rowley, Doug Edgeton, Bill Bullock, Paul Ulanch, Susan Craft, and Nandini Mendu.

-Dustin Poole, Novogene


I was a beginning Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Duke in 1984 when the center (virtual at that time) started and among the first group of scientists to get grant funding through the Center.  The promise of bigger things to come than any of us could accomplish alone in our laboratories was exciting and it is great to have been able to watch it become a reality.   Spread across 3 universities, we enjoyed the opportunity to get together within the Center activities, and especially benefited from the regular meetings with our first few industry sponsors. 

Congratulations to everyone who made this possible in the first place and to the visionary leadership that the Center has been lucky to have.

-Olivera J. Finn, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

NCBiotech's 35th Anniversary Celebration

In 1984, the Biotech Center formed as a catalyst to grow North Carolina's life science strengths. Today, we celebrate the success of 700+ companies and 2,400 supporting businesses, along with the 240,000 jobs that are supported by the life sciences in North Carolina.

On November 5, we will be celebrating 35 years of life science growth in North Carolina.


3:30 p.m. – Open House

Featuring NCBiotech grant and loan programs, outreach efforts, market research, conference center, and landing pad services

4:45 p.m. – Program

Welcome and opening remarks
Doug Edgeton, President and CEO, NCBiotech
John Rabby, Chairman, NCBiotech Board of Directors

A Global Success
Bob Ingram, Hatteras Venture Partners

An Ecosystem Generating Success
Karen LeVert, AgTech Inventures LLC

Statewide Success
Doug Edgeton, President and CEO
NCBiotech, and Jack Cecil, president, Biltmore Farms

Our Future Success
Aaron Lazarus, CEO, EncepHeal Therapeutics

Concluding remarks
Doug Edgeton, President and CEO, NCBiotech

5:30 p.m. – Adjourn to reception

6:30 p.m. – Reception concludes


Please note that this event is at capacity.

Header photo: Duke Brain Center, BRITE, Launch Bio, BioNetwork

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