John Benzie

Dr. John A.H. Benzie
University College Cork
Cork, Ireland


Dr. John Benzie studies the genetic structure and evolution of natural populations and genetic improvement of cultured (aquaculture) species. His current focus is on tropical Indo-pacific species, but in the past has involved terrestrial and freshwater species. Taxonomic groups covered include crustaceans, echinoderms, finfish, mollusks and mangroves.


Rita Colwell

Dr. Rita R. Colwell
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Dr. Rita Colwell is Chairman of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc. and Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Colwell, a microbiologist and internationally recognized expert on cholera and other infectious diseases, has served as Director of the National Science Foundation and as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, the Sigma Xi National Science Honorary Society, and the International Union of Microbiological Societies. Dr. Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The American Philosophical Society.


Donald Comb

Dr. Donald G. Comb
New England Biolabs, Inc.
240 County Road
Ipswich, MA 01938


Don Comb is the founder and owner of New England Biolabs a unique scientific research and biotechnology company, and is the creator and principal benefactor of the Ocean Genome Legacy Foundation. Dr. Comb has created and contributes to numerous charitable organizations in support of the environment and the arts.


James Ellard

James Ellard (Secretary)
New England Biolabs, Inc.
240 County Road
Ipswich, MA 01938

James Ellard is Chief Executive Officer of New England Biolabs, Inc. (NEB). He started his career at NEB as a bench scientist working to overexpress and purify enzymes essential for the manipulation of DNA. In 1990, he created NEB’s Marketing Communications department and has more than two decades of experience in marketing, business development, brand management and strategic planning in the Life Science industry. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Active in business and community affairs, he serves on the Board of BioHelix Corporation, is a Corporate Trustee of the Trustees of Reservations and previously served on the Board of Associates for the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.


Philip Goelet

Dr. Philip Goelet
Abbey Road Venture Partners
2330 West Joppa Road, Suite 330
Baltimore, MD 21093


Dr. Goelet, a founding member of Red Abbey Venture Partners, is a scientist, entrepreneur and investor, with research experience in molecular biology and management experience in the biotechnology and asset management industries. Dr. Goelet was educated at Oxford University and received an MPhil and PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, where he studied under Drs. Jonathan Karn and Sydney Brenner at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Dr. Goelet has published several scientific articles and holds patents in the fields of nucleic acid chemistry, virology, neurobiology, genomics and drug discovery.


Richard Roberts

Dr. Richard J. Roberts (Chairman/President)
New England Biolabs
240 County Road
Ipswich, MA 01938


Dr. Roberts has been a pioneer in the discovery and elucidation of restriction endonucleases and their use to unravel the mysteries of gene structure, functions and regulation. Dr. Roberts was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1993 for his contribution to the discovery of the fragmented nature (intron-exon structure) of eukaryotic genes.As Chief Scientific Officer at New England Biolabs, Dr. Roberts continues to pursue his interests in DNA modification and DNA modifying enzymes. Sir Richard Roberts joined North­eastern Uni­ver­sity as a Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor in the Col­lege of Sci­ence in January 2014, coincident with OGL’s move to the NU Marine Science Center.


Wolfgang Sterrer

Dr. Wolfgang E. Sterrer
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & ZooP.O. Box FL145
Flatts FLBX, Bermuda


Dr. Wolfgang Sterrer, is the Curator of the Natural History Museum at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (BAMZ) and the former Director of the Bermuda Biological Station for Research (BBSR, now Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences). As leader of the Bermuda biodiversity project, Dr. Sterrer has conducted extensive surveys of the marine fauna and flora of Bermuda.

Former Advisors

Sydney Brenner

Dr. Sydney Brenner (emeritus)
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
P.O. Box 85800
San Diego, CA 92186-5800

Sydney Brenner, one of the pioneers of molecular biology and cellular physiology, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2002 for his contribution to the understanding of genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death (apoptosis) using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an experimental model system. In recent years Dr. Brenner has been a leader in the study of vertebrate genomics and evolution, spearheading genome sequencing projects for deeply divergent vertebrates including Pufferfish (Fugu) and Elephant Shark.


Donald Chiofaro

Donald J. Chiofaro
The Chiofaro Company
One International Place, 46th Floor
Boston, MA 02110


Donald J. Chiofaro formed The Chiofaro Company, a real estate development and management firm, in 1980. Mr. Chiofaro is active in civic affairs in the Boston area. He is a founder of the Boston Police Athletic League, serves on committees for Harvard College, Boston University Medical Center and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Artery Business Committee. In addition, Mr. Chiofaro has had a long-term interest and commitment to boys and girls youth sports. He has coached youth hockey, baseball, basketball and rugby in the past. Before starting his own firm, Mr. Chiofaro was Senior Vice President of the Boston development company, Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, where he directed the National Division.


Douglas Foy

Douglas I. Foy
65 East India Row, Suite 2D
Boston, MA 02110


Douglas Foy is President of Serrafix, a company devoted to self-sustaining investments that transform clients’ energy profiles. Prior to founding DIF Enterprises in 2006, Mr. Foy served as the first Secretary of Commonwealth Development in the administration of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. In leading this “super-Secretariat”, Mr. Foy oversaw the agencies of Transportation, Housing, Environment, and Energy. Before his service in the Romney administration, Mr. Foy served for 25 years as the President of the Conservation Law Foundation, New England’s premier environmental advocacy organization. Among other awards, Mr. Foy has received the President’s Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award, the country’s highest conservation award, and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson Center, the national memorial to President Wilson.