Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


School of Urban and Regional Studies

Major Professor

Nelson, Marla

Second Advisor

Gladstone, David

Third Advisor

Miestchovich, Ivan


This thesis addresses New Orleans' "Bio-Med" sector, a broad category that includes biosciences research, health care, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing. Biotechnology, in particular, has emerged as an attractive target for economic development in New Orleans, in Louisiana, and in the nation as a whole. Informed by economic geography and development literature, this research presents a narrative of efforts to foster the Bio-Med industries in New Orleans as a source of economic diversification and employment. Structural economic conditions, as well as a complex and unsettled array of political agendas shaping Bio-Med institutions, underscore a pessimistic view of the potential for biotechnology to generate significant economic impacts. Since Katrina exacerbated these conditions, Bio-Med strategies should direct more attention to the health care industry and specifically to addressing workforce gaps to meet the twin goals of expanding health coverage and providing realistic employment opportunities for underserved populations.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.