Client Spotlight

A Conversation with Shane Woods, Co-Founder & President of Northern Biomolecular Services

Northern Biomolecular Services LogoShane Woods is co-founder and president of Northern Biomolecular Services (NBS). NBS is a contract research organization that provides complete solutions for customized assay development, robust validation procedures, and efficient sample processing workflows. In this interview, Shane shares his thought on entrepreneurship.

Shane, let’s start with the easy question: what does NBS do? 

“NBS is a contract research laboratory specializing in molecular biological techniques for the determination of biodistribution, persistence, and gene expression of cell and gene therapy products. Our technology allows us to detect one single viral genomic DNA from more than 100,000 human or animal cells. In short, we support gene and cell companies in their efforts to bring new therapies to clinics.”

What excites you most about what your company does? 

“That our tools and knowledge have advanced to a point where we have the potential to cure many hereditary diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, blindness, diabetes and potentially even cancer. Currently we can only treat these maladies with the hopes of slowing their progression and provide an individual with a few more years/months/weeks of quality life.  To play a role in helping to develop a cure for even one of these diseases keeps me getting up in the morning.”

What is your background? How did you become interested in what you’re doing now? 

“Science, engineering, and business.  Most of my early career was spent in research developing devices and treatments used in orthopedics.   I knew fairly early on I wanted to run my own company, and I’ve done my best to make decisions in my career path that helped prepare me for it but I may have wandered off the path a time or two.  One of those diversions led me into the regenerative medicine field and I decided to stay.”

If you could visit any place on earth, where would you go and why? 

“Iceland.  I don’t really have a solid reason why, just a yearning to go.”

What do you find most challenging about leading a start-up company? 

“Depends on which day you ask me and which fire is burning brightest.  Managing people can always be a challenge, but I knew that going into it. I think the “not knowing what you don’t know” with regards to the financial and legal hurdles companies need to jump through can be a challenge. The old adage about “getting what you pay for” really applies so make sure you have a good accountant and lawyer.”

What is the most rewarding aspect about being an entrepreneur? 

“It’s cliché but the freedom to do what needs to be done without having to wade (and persuade) multiples levels of management to sign on.”

How long has your company been in the Innovation Center? 

“Nine months, give or take.”

What do you like most about being a client of the Innovation Center? 

“Support. The Innovation Center provides a lot of modular support. What I mean by that is that as you grow, and your needs grow, you can add on or remove supporting functions as they best suit you. What’s more, you only have to deal with a single person instead of negotiating multiple contracts (e.g. internet, phone, shipping, lease).”

To learn more about Northern Biomolecular Services, please visit