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.