Memphis Bioscience

Memphis is Life Science.

The broad-based collection of bioscience industries in the Memphis region employ more than 55,500 workers across more than 1,000 establishments, representing almost 10% of total employment in the region.  Memphis’ diverse network of institutions, organizations, incubators, clinics, and bioscience firms is known for its research and clinical excellence, its depth of skilled technicians and internationally-recognized scientists, and its commitment to deepening and broadening the bioscience training available locally.

Did you know?

  • Memphis is among the top 10 most affordable cities in which to operate a biomedical business, according to The Boyd Company, a major business consulting firm.
  • More than 55,500 Memphians work in the bioscience industry.
  • Shelby County is the 2nd-largest county in the U.S. for orthopedic device manufacturing.
  • Over 3800, or 1 in 5, post-secondary graduates in the Memphis area earn a degree or certificate in a life science-related occupation. 

Bioscience Companies

As a worldwide leader in spinal and orthopedic implant development and manufacturing, a regional clinical hub, and distribution center for four of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies, Memphis has made a name for itself in bioscience.  Regional institutions such as Memphis Bioworks and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center bolster the bioscience industry, creating the educational and research infrastructure that allows bioscience companies to succeed.

Top Bioscience Employers


Speed to Market

Known as “America’s Distribution Center”, Memphis connects the bioscience industry with the marketplace through its superior distribution and supply chain management capabilities. Memphis offers the latest cut-off times for next-day delivery in the U.S. The city’s central location and proximity to the nation’s center-of-population creates a natural logistics edge. Add to that the world hub of FedEx, which has made Memphis International Airport North America's busiest cargo airport for each of the last 20 years. For more information visit our transportation and logistics pages.


Education and Training

In the Memphis MSA, 25 post-secondary institutions offer bioscience related training programs or degrees, including University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the University of Memphis, and Baptist College of Health Sciences. Programs are offered in over 72 fields, ranging from the Doctor of Pharmacy program at UTHSC to an associate’s degree in biotechnology at Southwest Tennessee Community College. More than 3800 students, almost 20% of total graduates, earned certificates or degrees in the biosciences in 2014.

Top Bioscience Educational Institutions

School Total Enrollment, 2014 Bioscience Graduates,
Concorde Career College 1,310 827
University of Tennessee Health Science Center 2,976 843
University of Memphis 21,059 506
Southwest Tennessee Community College 10,277 340
Remington College 633 339
Northwest Mississippi Community College 7,559 369
Delta Technical College 662 277
Baptist College of Health Sciences 1,170 214
Vatterott Career College 952 157

Source: National Center for Educational Statistics and TN Higher Education Commission 



Beyond manufacturing and distribution, Memphis area scientists and doctors are developing the next great innovation in bioscience. Home to nationally and internationally recognized research institutions, Memphis has an established bioscience research sector. Research institutions include:

  • The Fedex Institute of Technology is home to the University of Memphis Office of Technology Transfer, supporting interdisciplinary research in such areas as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.
  • The Medical Education and Research Institute (MERI) is a leading center for training physicians and medical students from across the world in surgical techniques for innovative medical implants and minimally invasive surgical techniques.
  • The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is home to the state’s largest medical school, a pharmacy school with active drug development research initiatives, and many strong existing research programs. UTHSC research centers include:

For more information, visit:

  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is the premier center for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. In 2015, St. Jude announced a $7 billion expansion plan that will expand both their patient services and their research efforts. St. Jude employs more than 3,700 clinicians, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, administrators, and information technology specialists from around the globe, including Peter Doherty, PhD, of the Department of Immunology. Dr. Doherty was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for key discoveries he made about the workings of the immune system.



Annual Mean Wage
Biological Technicians 260 $39,800
Biomedical Engineers 80 $79,680
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 2,030 $39,430
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 1,280 $65,580
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists 410 $79,020
Pharmacists 2,300 $109,090
Pharmacy Technicians 2,420 $34,000
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other 1,450 $238,530
Registered Nurses 12,030 $61,740

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2015


Real Estate

Memphis has over 188 million square feet of industrial space with average lease rates of  $2.47 per square foot (nnn), and over 19 million square feet of office space with lease rates averaging $21.92 for Class A and $16.55 for Class B spaces per square foot (nnn) in 2016 Q1. To find available office space, please contact the Chamber's Economic Development Team at 901-543-3541; click here to learn more about Memphis' real estate market and/or conduct an available building search

UT-Baptist Research Park

The UT-Baptist Research Park offers proximity to numerous biotech businesses, strong university research capabilities, and an urban campus in the middle of the Memphis Medical Center. Currently 52,000 square feet of office and wet lab space are available in various configurations and sizes, with room to grow as new construction is completed. The Center offers R&D, incubator, and meeting spaces dedicated to the bioscience community. For more information visit



New and expanding bioscience companies may be eligible for state and local tax credits such as the Jobs Tax Credit, Industrial Machinery Tax Credit, or the Payment in Lieu of Taxes incentives. For more information, visit our Incentives page.


Startup Assistance

Supported by Memphis Bioworks, startups and growing bioscience companies have access to a network of researchers, investors, and business experts in Memphis.

  • Located in the UT-Baptist Research Park, the Bioworks Business Incubator provides office space, wet labs, and support equipment for bioscience and clean-tech startup companies. It also features a metal prototype and fabrication facility, which can be used by medical device, clean tech, solar and other businesses.
  • Innova invests in early-stage, high-growth companies that have the potential to grow into significant economic contributors, with a focus on the bioscience and bioagricultural fields.
  • NextFarm Agricultural Innovation Accelerator is a business accelerator with a focus on agricultural innovations. 
  • Zeroto510 Medical Device Accelerator assists medical device entrepreneurs in navigating the start-up process, refining their business models, and achieving the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing.

Last updated 06/01/2016