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Settling a New Biotech Frontier in Montana - Montana Molecular

May 1, 2014View for printing

"If you start a biotech company in Montana, the governor and our senators take notice and will help with networking opportunities. If you are awarded an SBIR, the state of Montana will kick in matching funds too."

SLAS members Anne Marie Quinn and Thomas Hughes carved a place for their company, Montana Molecular , far from the biotech hubs that launched their careers. The company put down roots on Quinn's vision that the tools of science drive progress and the scientists who adopt those tools early have a professional advantage.

Montana Molecular spent the past year making headlines with its genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors and probes for cell-based assays and live cell imaging, which help drug discovery scientists to observe and measure cell-signaling processes. The company has experienced steady momentum since its launch in 2005 by husband-and-wife team Anne Marie Quinn, M.P.H., founder and CEO, and Thomas E. Hughes, Ph.D., a senior advisor and scientific officer. Since January 2013, the company's profile has increased and the team is reaping rewards for their hard work.

"Bozeman is a frontier when it comes to biotech companies," Quinn explains. "That being said, there are excellent cell biology and neuroscience departments at both Montana State University (MSU), here in Bozeman, and also at University of Montana (UMT) in Missoula (three hours northwest of Bozeman). The McLaughlin Research Institute in Great Falls, MT is renowned for their transgenic mouse facility." Bozeman seemed like an environment ripe for a new biotech company to be planted and Quinn and Hughes arrived with 20 years of career and academic experience to make it happen.

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