Atlanta can be considered the transportation hub of the Southeastern United States. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the world’s busiest airport for more than a decade, seeing 88 million passengers a year. Though it can be thought of as the international gateway to the U.S., Atlanta’s involvement in transportation started even before it became a city.

Founded as Terminus in 1837, the town served as the end of the Georgia railroad line (Western and Atlantic Railroad) and later became incorporated as Marthasville in 1843 in honor of ex-governor Lumpkin’s daughter Martha. It was renamed Atlanta in 1845 (based on its location at the end of the Georgia and Atlantic railroad line) and incorporated as a city in 1847. The city became the capital of Georgia in 1868. During the Civil War, the city was burned and almost completely destroyed. After the city was rebuilt, it rapidly grew due to the expansion of the railroads in the southwest.

Today, Atlanta is a major commercial metropolis. The city’s economy is led by the service, communications, retail trade, manufacturing, finance, convention business and insurance industries. Atlanta is home to many major corporations, and ranks fourth in the nation among cities with the most Fortune 500 companies, including Coca- Cola, CNN, The Home Depot, UPS and many others. The city is also home to a number of colleges, technical schools and universities, such as Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and Oglethorpe University.

The state of Georgia is home to more than 300 bioscience companies, including Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Cancer Society and the Arthritis Foundation. In 2006, Ernst & Young ranked Atlanta sixth among US cities for the bioscience community. Often referred to as the “Atlanta Technology Loop,” this hub of bioscience companies is the home of several industry leaders in the areas of bioinformatics, drug discovery and development, vaccine research and genetic analysis.

While in Atlanta, a great way to experience the city is a Segway tour, which will give you a fantastic orientation and an opportunity to see virtually all of the sites Atlanta has to offer. The world’s largest aquarium—Georgia Aquarium, is centrally located next to the convention center. For a complete list of things to do, places to eat and how to get around the city, you can visit the Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at www.atlanta.net. For more information about Atlanta’s bioscience community, visit www.atlantatechnologyloop.com.

See you in Atlanta.