A Tribute to a Giant of Michigan’s Biosciences Community

James (Jim) Herbert, who passed away recently, was a founding father of Michigan’s biotechnology ecosystem. He brought to his work, and to his life, a passion, a vision and a perseverance rooted in his belief that biotechnology was the way of the future. In so doing, Herbert co-founded and built Neogen, a pioneering multi-national food and animal safety products company headquartered in Lansing.

Herbert’s business acumen at Neogen and other corporations he served as a board member was recognized by NASDAQ and USA Today, which named him a Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year.  He was a founding awardee of the Michigan Biosciences Pantheon Award in 2018 for this role in helping to develop what is now a flourishing life sciences cluster in Michigan.

The culture that Jim created at Neogen, and its commitment to the Lansing area was widely seen as the gold standard for building a local knowledge-based, STEM economy. His focus on always doing the right thing for people and the business was something truly special. He was a master at creating cultures where great science and people could flourish. Jim was a brilliant businessman and great leader who brought a warmth and deft ability to harness talent and leaders toward a common goal, and Neogen as his business, and the broader statewide life sciences community was the beneficiary.

In short, Jim was a larger-than-life figure across Michigan’s biotechnology field, and was admired, respected and loved by all who were fortunate enough to know him as a colleague and a friend. He is irreplaceable and will be long remembered and sorely missed.

MichBio salutes Jim Herbert and his life.

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