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Leadership Team

Cell Signaling Technology (CST) has built a diverse team of global executives to advance our global strategic mission.

Michael J. Comb, President, Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Comb

President, Chief Executive Officer

“My passion is developing innovative technology to provide insight into disease mechanisms, and, while I act as CEO, I remain the company’s research director in function and in heart.”

Michael leads efforts at CST to build the best antibody technology in the world for researchers working to understand the molecular and cellular processes of disease. He founded the company to provide the research community with tools that he himself had sought as an investigator.

Before starting CST in 1999, he directed the Molecular Neurobiology Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and served as an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School.

Michael holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oregon. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is the inventor on numerous patents and patent applications.

Roberto Polakiewicz, Chief Scientific Officer

Roberto Polakiewicz

Chief Scientific Officer

“My job is to make sure CST continues to be an organization focused on a very high level of science and innovation.”

Roby drives research, product, and technology innovation, facilitating the creation of our most valuable products, technologies, and intellectual property at CST. Roby has driven the creation and implementation of novel antibody technology platforms that have been critical to the success of the organization. He previously served as Director of Research and Vice President for research at CST.

Before joining CST in 1999, he was a staff scientist at the biotechnology company New England Biolabs.

Roby received a B.S. in chemistry and Ph.D. in molecular biology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and he has completed postdoctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at M.I.T. He has published approximately 65 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is a named inventor on numerous patents and patent applications.

Matthew Curran, Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Curran

Chief Financial Officer

“A strong financial foundation is essential to fulfilling our commitment to provide the highest quality products and services to the global scientific community. My role is to ensure that we invest responsibly, and maintain our financial strength and independence without sacrificing our core values.”

As the leader of our global finance organization, Matt oversees accounting, budgeting, forecasting, income tax, treasury and risk management functions. He has also served as the CST Corporate Controller and Vice President of Finance.

Prior to joining CST in 2006, Matt served as Corporate Controller for Groove Networks, Inc., a software company that Microsoft Corporation acquired in 2005. He played a key role in the company’s early-stage equity financing rounds and, ultimately, the sale of the company to Microsoft Corporation. Earlier in his career, Matt was a Senior Manager with BDO USA LLP, an international accounting firm.

Matt holds a B.A. in Business Administration from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. and is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) in Massachusetts. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of CPA’s.

Darcy Birse, Chief Commercial Officer

Darcy Birse

Chief Commercial Officer

“My inspiration is driven by a simple equation: I work to bring together Technology + Innovation to create Commercial Strategy to best serve our Customers and Patients to advance healthcare outcomes.

Darcy develops and executes the overall commercial strategy for CST, leveraging CST technical strengths and experience. His focuses include enhancing distributor support, improving customer experience, expanding organizational capabilities and effectiveness, driving cross-functional collaboration and innovation, and building impactful strategic partnerships with key customers.

Darcy comes to CST with more than 20 years of global experience in commercial leadership, marketing, sales, and business development roles. He previously served in senior leadership positions with Lonza as SVP and at GE Healthcare as Executive Director. Darcy has held key roles in the biopharmaceutical industry directing R&D scientists developing biotechnology drug/biologic products. He was an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Stockholm University. He is a longstanding member of the Advisory Board for the BioProcessing Journal.

Darcy holds a BSc in Chemistry from Dalhousie University, Canada; an EMBO post-doctoral fellow in Biochemistry; a D.E.A. degree in Structural Biology in Strasbourg, France; and a PhD in Physics from Joseph Fourier University/EMBL in Grenoble, France.

Andrene McDowall, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Andrene McDowall

General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

“As the General Counsel for CST, my role is to ensure that the company continues to operate with unquestionable integrity in fulfilling our mission to provide high-quality, innovative research products that enable personalized medicine.”

Andrene is responsible for leading all CST legal and compliance matters across the global organization, including intellectual property, technology licensing, data privacy, commercial negotiations and contracting, corporate governance, and corporate and securities law. Further, in her role as Corporate Secretary, she serves as a strategic advisor to the CST Board of Directors.

Before joining CST in 2022, Andrene spent more than 16 years providing strategic legal counsel to public and privately held corporations. She has a broad background in navigating legal needs across all regions and business functions, with expertise in privacy and commercial contracts.

Andrene received her B.A. in Business Management and International Business from Florida International University as well as her J.D. from Howard University School of Law. Andrene is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Craig M. Thompson, Senior Vice President, Global Operations

Craig M. Thompson

Senior Vice President, Global Operations

“My primary motivator at CST has been to provide CST customers with the most reliable and best-performing products along with outstanding customer support.”

Craig advances manufacturing and distribution for all of the CST products. He leads the company’s customer service, supply chain management, lab operations, and facilities management. He also oversees environmental protection, occupational health, safety procedures, and quality systems.

Before joining CST in 2005, Craig spent nine years in venture-backed life science organizations, leading teams of scientists focused on technology development and drug discovery. He served as Senior Investigator, Group Leader, chemical genomics for ArQule, as Group Leader, cell biology for Akceli, and as Group Leader, microbiology for Scriptgen/ Anadys Pharmaceuticals.

Craig has a B.S. in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT. He also completed post-doctoral studies in immunobiology at Yale University. Craig has authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and patents.

Benjamin Donald Comb, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy

Benjamin Donald Comb

Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy

“I believe in building symbiotic relationships and welcome inquiries from prospective technology, chemistry, platform and content providers.”

Ben oversees the Corporate Development team. The team is responsible for devising and executing the CST inorganic growth strategy.

Ben began his career in research, studying the mechanisms underlying lung and gastric cancers. After a number of years at the bench, Ben transitioned his thinking from the drivers of cell growth to the drivers of business growth. Ben joined the Corporate Development team at CST as an Analyst and has since served in escalating management roles. Ben received his BS in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and MS in Biotechnology from the University of Queensland in Australia.

Vice President, General Manager Greater China

Maggie Xie

Vice President, General Manager Greater China

"My vision for CST is to enable all researchers to have easy access to the best products so that they can focus on their important work in their lab."

As Vice President and General Manager of Cell Signaling Technology in Greater China, Maggie’s primary responsibilities include expanding capabilities within our organization in China, building strategic partnerships with key customers, and enhancing and improving our channels to market in support of distributors and customers in China.

Prior to joining CST, Maggie served as a global leader in commercial leadership, marketing, sales, and product development roles. She previously served in senior leadership positions with Thermo Fisher Scientific, Eppendorf China Company Ltd., and several other companies in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, and life sciences industries.

Vice President, General Manager Japan

Kazuyuki Kiyota

Vice President, General Manager Japan

“My vision for CST is to be a first-class supplier that provides high-quality products and customer service and to continue to be a trusted partner of researchers as they conduct their scientific work.”

Kaz directs sales, marketing, logistics, human resources, general administration, finance, and information technology for the CST Japanese market. His goals are to increase efficiency, competency, and leadership, and to create a comfortable work environment for CST employees.

Before joining CST in 2015, Kaz spent 10 years in senior positions in a variety of biotechnology companies. He served as General Manager and President of Applied Biosystems Japan Ltd., General Manager and President of Life Technologies Japan Ltd., and as Business Director of BD Biosciences.

Koos Kranenborg, General Manager EMEA

Koos Kranenborg

General Manager BIOKÉ

“My vision for CST to team up globally continuing sharing knowledge, also with our trusted research partners in order to accelerate their scientific work.”

Koos runs the CST BIOKÉ distribution business unit based in Europe. Koos leads highly skilled, dedicated, and engaged BIOKÉ teams in Sales, Support and Marketing.

In 2005 BIOKÉ started selling CST products in the BeNeLux, and in 2009 CST acquired BIOKÉ to become the EMEA headquarters in order to expand the CST operations in EMEA. BIOKÉ delivers innovative and best-in-class reagents, consumables, and instruments in the multi-omics workflows throughout Europe.

Koos worked for more than seven years in several senior sales positions at different biotechnology companies before he cofounded BIOKÉ in 2004, responsible for all sales and marketing activities. BIOKÉ started with a simple, compelling vision: Sharing Knowledge.

Koos has a MSc in Biotechnology from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and followed by an associate MBA program.