Life sciences. (Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels)

Baltimore and DC might be separated by at least an hour’s worth of driving (45 minutes if you’re lucky), but taken together, their metro areas amount to one of the country’s top markets for life sciences.

The real estate and investment firm CBRE concluded as much in its inaugural report identifying and analyzing the top 25 domestic markets for life sciences talent. CBRE ranked Washington DC and Baltimore together in the second slot, just behind Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts and ahead of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tommy Cleaver, a CBRE executive vice president who works in the DMV, said in his employer’s announcement that the ranking reflects the talent pipeline developed at regional educational institutions.

“This report is going to surprise a lot of people, but it shouldn’t,” he said. “Our region’s specialized labor pool is extremely deep and our education system continues to fuel a robust talent pipeline.”

The report’s ranking is especially unsurprising when universities like Johns Hopkins and the various University of Maryland institutions develop life science talent via awards, grants and incubators throughout the state. Maryland is also pumping money into organizations like the Maryland Tech Council to boost the region’s life sciences workforce.