Crab cakes, sports and biotech—that’s what Maryland does


Jarrod Borkat

Marylanders love their crab cakes and they love their sports teams. Historically, the state—because of its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and its prolific blue crab population—has been hailed for its mouth-watering crab cakes. And, its professional sports teams—including two-time Super Bowl champs the Baltimore Ravens and the time-honored MLB team the Baltimore Orioles—are lauded and adored.

But, Maryland is generating another great affinity, which is its place as a top biotech hub. And, that position just got stronger with the recent announcement about the research collaboration between MedImmune and The Johns Hopkins University(JHU).

That new partnership—the first of its kind for JHU—will enable joint research efforts, educational training programs, and access to specialized facilities, expertise and equipment for both institutions. This is important to advance critical research, as we continue to look for ways to broaden collaborations with academia and work to access innovative science.

But, perhaps equally important is our commitment to Maryland, to our academic and other industry neighbors, and our commitment to collectively building a more prominent biotechnology ecosystem. And, this—along with everything else we’re doing locally—ultimately serves a global purpose: Creating medicines that help people.

Fortunately, our backyard allows us to pursue the types of collaborations that can further enable this. JHU—one of the most prestigious research institutions in the country—is located less than an hour away from us in Baltimore City. The initial projects we’ll be working on together—including in the areas of oncology; respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; infectious disease; and antibody discovery and protein engineering—have real potential for not just breakthrough discoveries but to bring the benefits of our research closer to patients in need.

And, JHU, while important and extremely noteworthy, is not our first local broad academic partnership. This past September, we also signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Both the JHU and UMB collaborations are long-term efforts and each offers programs and scientific expertise that are complementary to our own.

All of us without question have a taste for top-notch science and are focused on doing meaningful work to achieve great things—kind of like our sports teams and our crabbing industry.