Donald G. Comb
Hon­orary degree: Doctor of Science

Donald G. Comb is the founder and chairman of the board of New Eng­land Bio­labs. Comb’s com­mit­ment to sci­ence led to its incep­tion in 1974 and his sci­en­tific vision shaped the New Eng­land Bio­labs as a world leader in the dis­covery, devel­op­ment, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of recom­bi­nant and native enzymes for genomic research.

Comb’s pas­sion for sci­ence, art, and the envi­ron­ment also led to the cre­ation of the New Eng­land Bio­labs Foun­da­tion, a pro­gram that pro­motes envi­ron­mental aware­ness and social change, as well as the Ocean Genome Legacy Pro­gram, which he believes will help to pre­vent the extinc­tion of endan­gered sea life. Founded by Comb in 2001, the Ocean Genome Legacy is a public biorepos­i­tory of rare and remark­able ocean crea­tures; OGL recently found its new home at North­eastern University’s Marine Sci­ence Center.

Comb’s com­mit­ment to the envi­ron­ment is evi­dent on the New Eng­land Bio­labs campus, from the LEED-​​certified lab­o­ra­tory designed to min­i­mize its impact on the sur­rounding land­scape to the Solar Aquatics System designed to treat the campus’ waste­water. Comb’s beliefs are deeply woven into the cor­po­rate phi­los­ophy. As a result, New Eng­land Bio­labs was rec­og­nized with the “2009 Recy­cling Busi­ness Award” and the “2010 Best Places to Work” award by The Sci­en­tist.

Comb also main­tains an active research lab­o­ra­tory at New Eng­land Bio­labs. His inter­ests include par­a­sitology, epi­ge­netics, and the devel­op­ment of bio­fuels; his cur­rent research focus involves the iso­la­tion and bio­chem­ical char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of novel cellulases.

He received his doc­torate from the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan and was pre­vi­ously as an assis­tant pro­fessor at Har­vard Med­ical School studying nucleic acid syn­thesis during embry­onic development.