Learn More About the PhorTech Panel of Bioresearchers
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Demographics of the PhorTech Panel of BioresearchersSome time ago, we sent personalized email invitations to participate in a survey research project to more than 13,000 members of the PhorTech panel of bioresearchers working in North America. The survey was closed after 1,360 completed responses had been received. The majority (99.4%) are actively working or soon planning to work with laboratory products. We estimate that the total population of bioresearchers working in North America is 135,000.
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Our panel members were spread throughout academia, in hospitals and medical schools, as well as in industry and government laboratories and private research foundations. Most often, they are working in the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, and biotechnology, as well as specialties such as bioinformatics, cancer research, proteomics, genetic disease, immunology, and microbiology. As a group, panel members most frequently mentioned using electrophoresis (83.27%), cell culture (70.35%), amplification (67.59%), blotting (65.94%), light microscopy (62.88%), cloning (59.00%), gene expression (56.91%), cDNA (55.19%), and enzyme assays (46.90%). Members of the PhorTech panel of bioresearchers are employed in a full range of positions of responsibility, but principal investigators, laboratory scientists, and laboratory managers/directors/supervisors combined represent 59.15%. Up and coming future researchers, currently graduate students and post-doctoral fellows account for 17.10%.
Panel members work in laboratory groups, which have a mean of 9+ total researchers, supported by the laboratory budgets. As a group, they are estimated to handle instrumentation budgets of $21.88 thousand per researcher, with an additional estimated $18.25 thousand per researcher to spend on chemicals and biologicals annually. We can conservatively estimate the total instrument and reagents budgets controlled by North American bioresearchers $1.75 billion annually.
Among PhorTech panel members, the most commonly used chemicals and biologicals among an expanded list of 72 categories of products begin with buffers (84.9%), electro-phoresis reagents (79.50%), biochemicals (79.33%), and molecular biology reagents (77.28%). The list continues with: DNA/RNA purification materials (68.94%), polyclonal antibodies (68.23%), monoclonal antibodies (67.79%), cell culture media & sera (67.44%), and amplification-related products (66.10%).
The most commonly used instruments and apparatus from an updated list of 68 products include laboratory balances (89.58%), incubators (86.66%), high speed centrifuges (85.39%), incubators (80.79%), thermal cyclers (71.47%), and water purification equipment (70.40%). The list continues with pH/specific ion meters (70.30%), blotting devices (66.50%), optical microscopes (65.73%), and UV-vis spectrophotometers (65.34%).
Comparing results with our previous Global Laboratory Product Usage Survey report, we see that the category of chemicals & biologicals showing the most growth since the earlier report were prepared electrophoresis gels (a gain of +13.25% going from 38.92% in 2002 to 52.17% this year). The category of instrumentation and apparatus showing the most growth since 2002 was real-time thermal cyclers (a gain of +23.09% going from 19.46% in 2002 to 42.55% this year).
Panel members also indicated which products they planned to begin using within the next 18 months. Among all North American members, the fastest growing chemical/biological product is RNAi/siRNA related products (+13.75%).
The fastest growing instrument category is real-time thermal cyclers (+10.61%) topping the list for our third consecutive report.
In addition, panel members were asked to indicate which of 7 major scientific journals they receive, how they receive them, and the percent of issues read on a monthly basis. Using this data in conjunction with the published number of subscriptions, the population of life science researchers in North America has been estimated with seven independent calculations.
By numerous cross-tabulations in this and other reports, we believe that the PhorTech panel of bioresearchers represents the finest cross-section of life science researchers in North America available, in terms of fields of interest, job titles, areas of work, reading habits, budgets, and distribution across the continent.