Karen Lewis brings over 20 years of experience leading global human resource teams in the biotechnology and technology industries.

Prior to joining Axcella, Ms. Lewis led the Global Talent Acquisition organization at Biogen where she designed their talent acquisition strategy and developed and implemented high-performance organization and talent management solutions to support the successful achievement of business outcomes. While at Biogen, Ms. Lewis held roles as the Head of Human Resources for U.S. Commercial Operations, Global Commercial Strategy, Global Market Access, and was Regional HR leader for Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Previously, Ms. Lewis worked at Amazon and Bristol-Myers Squibb where she held leadership roles in Talent Acquisition, Talent Management and as an HR Business Leader supporting R&D and Commercial functions.

Ms. Lewis holds a B.S. in Biology from Rider University and worked as a Research Scientist at a start-up biotech company before entering HR.



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What drew you to Axcella?  
I was thrilled to join Axcella at such a transformational time. I was drawn in by the talented group of people, exciting opportunity to bring a new scientific approach to reprogram metabolism and make a difference to many people who may one day benefit from our science.  

What is your greatest non-professional achievement?  
Together, my husband and I have raised three beautiful children. I feel fortunate that each one of them are strong-willed, well-rounded, caring, and determined to make a difference in the world.

Who is your role model / are your role models?
Throughout my life, my mother has inspired me to persevere in the face of obstacles, be grateful for the opportunities life brings, and to live life with an optimistic mindset. I have also been fortunate to work with many great leaders who demonstrated humility, authenticity, and were determined to foster a high-performance environment enabling employees to thrive and achieve tremendous results.

Favorite author? 
I have read many leadership books over the years. Jim Collins, Stephen Covey, John Kotter, and Marshall Goldsmith are all authors that influenced my personal approach to leadership.

Favorite vacation destination?  
Some of my favorite vacations have been in the Caribbean with my family.