New England Biolabs Leadership
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  • Leadership

    Dr. Don Comb

    Donald Comb

    Founder & Chairman of the Board
    Ph.D., University of Michigan

    Prior to taking a position at Harvard Medical School, Don attended the University of Michigan where he earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology. Don’s commitment to science led to the inception of New England Biolabs in 1974. His scientific vision shaped NEB as the leader in the discovery and production of recombinant enzymes for molecular biology applications.

    Don’s passion for science, art and the environment has also led to the creation of the New England Biolabs Foundation, a program that promotes environmental awareness and social change; and the Ocean Genome Legacy Program, which he believes will help to prevent the extinction of endangered sea life. His commitment to the environment is evident on the NEB campus; from the LEED certified laboratory that was designed to minimize its impact on the surrounding landscape, to the Solar Aquatics System®, designed to treat the campus’ wastewater. Don’s beliefs are deeply woven into the corporate philosophy; as a result, New England Biolabs has had the honor of being lauded with the “2009 Recycling Business Award” and the “2010 Best Places to Work” award by "The Scientist" magazine.

    Although Don has stepped down from his position as CEO, he continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Don also maintains an active research laboratory at NEB. His interests include parasitology, epigenetics and the development of biofuels. Don’s current research focus involves the isolation and biochemical characterization of novel cellulases.

    Jim Ellard

    James Ellard

    Chief Executive Officer 
    B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Jim joined New England Biolabs in 1984 as a bench scientist working to purify and optimize enzymes essential for DNA manipulation. In 1990, he created the Marketing Communications Department at NEB. Jim has more than two decades of experience in marketing, business development, brand management and strategic planning in the Life Science industry. He is active in both business and community affairs, and serves on the Boards of Directors of several organizations, including BioHelix Corporation, Ocean Genome Legacy, Save One Life and Science from Scientists. Jim is also a member of the Advisory Council for The Trustees of the Reservations.

    Rick Ireland

    Richard H. Ireland

    Chief Financial Officer
    B.S., Johns Hopkins University

    Rick joined New England Biolabs in 1982, having previously worked as a CPA in a private accounting practice. As Chief Financial Officer, Rick has final responsibility for all financial activities and reporting at NEB. Rick is also a member of several federal and state CPA societies.

    Sir Richard Roberts

    Chief Scientific Officer, Nobel Laureate,
    Ph.D., University of Sheffield, UK

    Rich has served as Consultant and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board at New England Biolabs since 1974. He joined NEB as Chief Scientific Officer in 1992. Rich was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for his contribution to the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. His current research interests focus on enzyme discovery using bioinformatics, combined with the experimental testing of function. His main responsibilities at NEB are to guide research and set the scientific goals for the company. Rich often gives lectures and presentations worldwide and investigates potential opportunities for both scientific and commercial collaborations. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards and holds honorary degrees from several universities, including Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Uppsala and Bath University, and Doctor of Science degrees from Sheffield University and Derby University.

    Bill Jack

    William Jack

    Executive Director of Research
    Ph.D., Duke University

    Bill joined New England Biolabs in 1987 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University. As Executive Director of Research, Bill coordinates and supports research efforts at NEB’s Ipswich and Shanghai facilities, a role that includes encouraging and facilitating internal and external research collaborations. He works with NEB production, marketing, business development, and applications development leaders to jointly formulate and implement development plans for new and existing products . In addition, Bill is centrally involved in patent strategy at NEB. His current research focus is on the enzymology of thermophilic DNA polymerases, with an emphasis on using these enzymes and associated factors as tools for molecular biology.

    Maurice Southworth

    Director of Production
    Ph.D., University of Sussex

    Maurice joined New England Biolabs in 1988, after completing a postdoctoral position at Advanced Genetic Science where he studied bacterial ice nucleation in Pseudomonas sp. His research studies at NEB included biochemistry, kinetics and expression of proteins and enzymes in E. coli from filarial nematodes and hyperthermophilic Archaea. In 2006, Maurice became the Technical Support Manager, and helped to co-ordinate and manage technical support for NEB’s entire product portfolio. In 2009, he became the Assistant Director of Production and, in 2014, the Director of Production. As Director of Production, Maurice oversees all operations within production, including fermentation, purification, formulation, process development, packaging/inventory and shipping.
    Peter Nathan

    Peter Nathan

    Executive Director, Global Business Development
    Ph.D., Princeton University

    Peter joined New England Biolabs as a postdoctoral researcher in 1987, after receiving a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Genetics from Princeton University. His postdoctoral work focused on the cloning and overexpression of the BamHI methyltransferase and the regulation of the methyltransferase gene. Peter became the Director of Marketing in 1991, after establishing the first wholly-owned subsidiary for NEB in Toronto, Canada, and has served as the Executive Director of Global Business Development since 2005. His current role at NEB involves leveraging the commercial and scientific resources of NEB in partnering, technology acquisition and identifying new ventures on a global basis, as well as direct oversight of all 7 NEB subsidiaries. Peter also volunteers as a board member at various non-profit organizations in the Boston area.

    Andy Bertera

    Andrew Bertera

    Executive Director of Marketing
    B.S., King's College, UK

    Andy joined New England Biolabs in 2009, having previously worked at Amersham, GE and Promega. As Executive Director of Marketing at NEB, Andy is responsible for the development and implementation of NEB’s marketing strategies and tactics, across its entire product portfolio. Andy also oversees the management of NEB’s global OEM/customized product business, as well as its US Field (Sales) organization. His role at NEB involves the direct management of the marketing and sales professionals covering the disciplines of market research, product management, channel management, US sales, digital marketing, and scientific and marketing communications. Andy is also the NEB representative at the Analytical and Life Science Systems Association (ALSSA) Executive Management Meetings.