Herbert ‘Herb’ Heyneker, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Mimetas and Dutch biotech pioneer, has been honored by the Dutch Monarchy for his contributions and commitment to biotechnology in the Netherlands and Leiden. Heyneker has been awarded the rank of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau and received this prestigious Royal award today from the Mayor of Leiden, Henri Lenferink, during a symposium held in honor of the 35th anniversary of the Leiden Bioscience Park.
Jos Joore, CEO and co-founder of Mimetas, states: ‘Since 2013 Herb has been a tremendous inspirator, motivator, and chairman of our board. He has been instrumental for our development from a start-up company into a global leader in the organ-on-a-chip field, operating from four locations worldwide.’
After earning his Ph.D. from Leiden University in The Netherlands, Heyneker moved in 1975 to San Francisco to accept a postdoc position in Prof. Herbert Boyer’s UCSF laboratory. Here he was involved in pioneering research into gene splicing and somatostatin. Soon afterward, he joined Genentech, founded by Boyer and Swanson, as one of their first employees. In 1984, he moved to the Genentech spinoff Genencor to become Vice-President of Research. In the 90s he co-founded several biotechnology companies including Eos, a functional genomics company, where he was the Chief Technology Officer. He also served on the board of directors for GenPharm and Guava Technologies in the U.S. and the Netherlands for IntroGene (acquired by Crucell), Pharming, Pepscan, ProFibrix, and Prosensa. He is an author on more than 50 scientific papers and inventor on more than 30 patents. Currently, Heyneker serves as a member of the advisory board of Thuja Capital and advises to Qiagen and various biotech start-ups, in addition to his affiliation with Mimetas.
Joore continues: ‘Herb does not only play a crucial role for Mimetas, but also for many other biotechnology companies globally, in The Netherlands, and Leiden. He is truly one of the most prominent scientist-entrepreneurs in the biotech industry and above that a wonderful person to work with. We are delighted that Herb’s contributions to the Dutch biotechnology community have been appreciated with this Royal award and we are glad to share his pride.’