By Camille Mojica Rey, Contributing Writer
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In 2000, a 15-mile stretch of Maryland’s Interstate 270 (I-270) from Bethesda to Gaithersburg was dubbed DNA Alley by Time magazine because it housed “one of the world’s largest and smartest collections of genomic firms.” At the time, the Human Genome Project was in full swing, and the magazine attributed the concentration of companies to the close proximity of the Bethesda headquarters of the NIH. Today, the “alley” stretches 37 miles. Known as the I-270 corridor, it includes Montgomery and Frederick counties and is home to 140 life sciences companies that employ 19,000 people, according to 2017 state labor statistics. “People, ideas, and products are moving up and down the I-270 corridor,” says Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the City of Frederick.