WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute wrapped up a three-day conference Thursday aimed at celebrating the growth of life sciences and biotech industries in the city.

The Worcester region has 12 colleges and universities with life sciences programs, and home to more than 60 biotech companies. A recent article in the journal “Livability” claims access to the Boston area and a much lower cost for lab space is a primary factor in the region’s growth. 

Jean King, dean of WPI’s School of Arts and Sciences, is excited for what the future holds.  

“This is our moment in terms of the life sciences,” King said. “WPI seems to be known most places as an engineering school, and we're beyond that. We're engineering, but we also have the life sciences.

I think this area of central Mass. should also be known as the hub for the life sciences. I know Boston is the number one hub in the world, and I think we're right there next to that and we want to expand it.”

During the three-day conference, WPI students were also able to meet with some of the top biotech and life sciences employers in the region, including MassBio and UMass Chan Medical School.