In the Bluegrass Region and Kentucky, Lexington is a hub for the life sciences industry. By leveraging its culture of innovation and commercialization, a superior business climate, top ranked research programs at the University of Kentucky, and an expansion network of medical centers, Lexington provides an environment where any market niche of the life sciences industry can grow.

Paratech’s lab space, courtesy of Angelika Fath-Goodin.

Six major medical centers in Lexington support a strong base of health care providers, including Baptist Health LexingtonCHI Saint Joseph HealthShriner’s Hospitals for Children, and the UK Medical Center. The UK Healthcare System is an extensive network that includes four hospitals, over 80 specialized clinics, more than 140 outreach programs, a team of 9,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and health care workers, and six health professional colleges, serving over 1 million outpatients and performing nearly 35,000 surgeries last year. The Lexington Clinic, a multi-specialty medical group with more than 29 locations throughout the Bluegrass Region, employs 350 physicians and provides services to more than 2,000 patients every day and 600,000 patients every year.

Direct patient care is a major employment industry for Lexington, with a high-quality stock of human capital for medical professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 22,000 people were employed as health care practitioners and technicians in 2021, including 300 family medicine physicians, 70 radiation therapists, 70 optometrists, 560 physical therapists, 8,000 registered nurses, 990 clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, 330 surgical technologists, 1,010 pharmacists, and 290 veterinarians.

Health care and biotechnology are supported by strong ties to academic programs at the University of Kentucky.  UK’s College of Pharmacy is one of the nation’s top pharmacy programs, ranked the 6th Best Pharmacy Programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2020, and the university ranked in the top 100 of National Institute of Health (NIH) funded institutions in fiscal year 2023 with $143,637,320 through 294 awards. The cutting-edge medical research on disease and drug development performed by the graduate students and faculty has benefited the area and the nation. Graduates enrich the workforce and faculty members have created 64 graduate since 1994. Furthermore, UK allocated nearly $480 million to research and development in FY 2023, and most UK’s R&D expenditures (over 70%) are devoted to the field of life sciences

Click here to read Commerce Lexington’s Life Sciences and Biotech White Paper.

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