Codon Devices

 About Us

  • Management Team
  • Board of Directors
  • Scientific Advisory Board
  • Codon Careers


Board of Directors


Noubar Afeyan
Chairman, Co-Founder
Flagship Ventures

Dr. Noubar Afeyan is a recognized technologist and entrepreneur, having founded and helped build several successful technology startups during the past 19 years. He is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management and is a frequent guest speaker at technology forums throughout the country. He has authored numerous scientific publications and patents.

Prior to co-founding Flagship Ventures in 1999, Dr. Afeyan helped to launch six highly successful new ventures. He was the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of PerSeptive Biosystems, a leader in the bio-instrumentation field. Dr. Afeyan also served as Chairman of the Board of ChemGenics Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company spun out of PerSeptive. After PerSeptive's acquisition by Applera Corporation, Dr. Afeyan was Applera's Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer. While at Applera, he initiated and oversaw the creation of Celera Genomics, a tracking stock subsidiary of Applera. Dr. Afeyan has also been a founding team member, investor and active board member/advisor of Antigenics, Color Kinetics and EXACT Sciences.

Dr. Afeyan currently serves as a Director for Flagship portfolio companies Affinnova, BG Medicine, Codon Devices, Adnexus Therapeutics, Ensemble Discovery, Genstruct and Helicos BioSciences. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Governors of Boston University Medical School, and he is a member of several advisory boards including the Whitehead Institute at MIT, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT's Media Lab. He is also a Board member of several economic development organizations aimed at rebuilding the former Soviet Republic of Armenia.

Dr. Afeyan earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal and his PhD in Biochemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John Danner
President and Chief Executive Officer

John Danner joined Codon Devices as President and CEO in November 2005. He has more than 15 years of leadership experience in a variety of technology-oriented organizations. Mr. Danner was most recently with PerkinElmer, Inc., where he held a number of executive positions in business development and general management. From 2003 to 2005, he was Vice President and General Manager of a $450M group of biopharmaceutical tools businesses. Prior to his tenure at PerkinElmer, Mr. Danner was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, serving in both the United States and Europe, focusing on strategy development, operational excellence, and organizational restructuring. Previously, he served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine force.

Mr. Danner holds a B.S. with distinction in engineering from Cornell University and an MBA with distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Drew Endy
Co-Founder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

As a member of the MIT faculty, Dr. Endy's research focuses on the engineering of integrated biological systems and error detection in reproducing machines. From 1998 through 2001, Dr. Endy helped start the Molecular Sciences Institute, an independent not-for-profit biological research lab in Berkeley, CA. In 2002, he started a group as a fellow in the Department of Biology and the Biological Engineering Division at MIT, and he joined the MIT faculty in 2004.

Dr. Endy co-founded the MIT Synthetic Biology working group and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, and organized the First International Conference on Synthetic Biology. He and colleagues taught the 2003 and 2004 MIT Synthetic Biology labs, and organized the 2004 Synthetic Biology competition, a five-school course that enabled students to work together to design and build engineered biological systems. In 2005, Dr. Endy and colleagues organized the Intercollegiate Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

Dr. Endy studied civil, environmental, and biochemical engineering at Lehigh University and Thayer School, Dartmouth College.

Bob Higgins
Highland Capital Partners

Bob has more than twenty years of experience in venture capital and has served as a director of many public and private companies. He is a former director of the National Venture Capital Association and President of the New England Venture Capital Association. In addition, Bob has been recognized by the prestigious Forbes Midas List as one of the top venture capitalists in the industry.

Bob has been an investor in many successful healthcare service, medical device and biotechnology companies. Some of the services companies he has backed are Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH), Mariner Health Group (IPO/acquired), New England Critical Care (IPO/acquired), Renal Treatment Centers (IPO/acquired) and U.S. Labs  (acquired). Bob's medical technology investments include AVEO PharmaceuticalsCodon DevicesConor Medsystems (Nasdaq: CONR), Helicos BioSciencesMagen BioSciences, Mitotix  (Neuer Market: GPC Biotech AG), Origin Medsystems (acquired), PerSeptive Biosystems (IPO/acquired), Pervasis Therapeutics and PRAECIS PHARMACEUTICALS  (Nasdaq: PRCS). In addition, Bob has also served on the boards of SmartBargains ,  and WordWave  (acquired by Merrill Corporation).

Before co-founding Highland, Bob was a general partner at a Boston-based venture capital partnership. Immediately prior to entering venture capital, he spent four years as the Executive Director of the John A. Hartford Foundation. He also was the Chief Executive of the Clark Foundation and the Burden Foundation. Bob is a former Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and an Assistant to the head of the international division of the U.S. Treasury.

Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and the Advisory Board of the Harvard - MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. Bob has been a faculty member at the Harvard Business School since 2001, where he currently teaches a second year course called Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital in Healthcare. Bob received a BA in History from Harvard College and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

Michael Hunkapiller
Alloy Ventures

Michael Hunkapiller joined Alloy in 2004 after 21 years at Applied Biosystems, which he helped grow from startup to almost $2 billion in annual revenues supplying instrument and reagent systems for life science research. At ABI, he held several positions, most recently as President and General Manager. He was also a founder of ABI's sister company Celera Genomics  and Senior Vice President of Applera Corporation (their parent company). Prior to joining ABI, Dr. Hunkapiller was a senior research fellow in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology.

He has authored more than 100 scientific publications, is an inventor on more than two dozen patents, and has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He has received several awards for his contributions to life science research, including the development of the automated DNA sequencing systems used to sequence the human genome.

Dr. Hunkapiller received a B.S. in Chemistry from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech in 1974.

Joseph Jacobson
Co-Founder, MIT Media Lab

Dr. Joseph Jacobson leads the Molecular Machines group of the Center for Bits and Atoms. His research is aimed at reinventing microelectronics by developing processes for directly and continuously printing communication, computation, and displays onto arbitrary substrates.

Dr. Jacobson is the author of 45 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and holds several patents and patents pending in display technology and printed electronics. He received a 2001 Discover magazine award for technological innovation, and in 1999 he was named as one of Technology Review's 100 most influential innovators under the age of 35. As a graduate student researching femtosecond lasers, he set the record for the shortest pulse ever generated by a laser (in optical cycles). His postdoctoral work in nonlinear-nonlocal quantum systems was published in the Physical Review and was written up in the New York Times, New Scientist and Physics Today.

Dr. Jacobson was educated at MIT and Stanford, receiving a PhD in physics and a postdoctoral fellowship in physics, respectively.

Samir Kaul
Founding CEO and Board Member

Samir Kaul is a founding general partner at Khosla Ventures and is focusing on clean technologies and life sciences investing. Since joining forces with Khosla, Samir has led the firm’s investments in Altra, Amyris, Cilion, Great Point Energy, Mascoma, Stion and a number of earlier science projects.

Before joining Khosla Ventures, Samir was a partner at Flagship Ventures where he was a member of the Life Sciences team from 2002 through 2005. During that time he was also the founding-CEO of two Flagship start-ups, Codon Devices and Epitome Biosystems, and part of the founding team of a third Flagship start-up, Helicos Bio-Sciences. Prior to Flagship, Samir worked at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). At TIGR, Samir led the Arabidopsis thaliana sequencing project, the first plant genome to be completely sequenced.

Joe Lacob
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Joseph (Joe) Lacob is active in two investment practice areas at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He has led KPCB's investments in over forty life science companies, including the start-up or incubation of a dozen ventures, and leads KPCB's medical technology practice, which includes over thirty therapeutic and diagnostic medical device companies.

Mr. Lacob is also active in KPCB's new media and Internet company initiatives. He led the firm's investment in, the leading sports website. His recent Internet investments include a focus on small business and financial services, including, a leading on-line provider of health insurance to individuals and small businesses. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of three public companies,, Corixa, and Align Technology, as well as several other privately held companies, including Ophthonix, NeuroPace, Innercool Therapies, NuVasive, and TherOx. Before joining Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mr. Lacob was an executive with Cetus Corporation, a biotechnology company, FHP International, a health maintenance organization (HMO), and the management-consulting firm of Booz, Allen & Hamilton.

Mr. Lacob received his BS in Biological Sciences from the University of California at Irvine, his MS in Public Health from UCLA and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


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