News release

JLL names Robert Coughlin to grow life sciences industry practice

The departing President and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council will lean on his industry expertise to help clients foster research, development, and commercialization of breakthrough treatments through strategic real estate decisions

December 16, 2020

BOSTON, Dec. 16, 2020 – JLL today announced Robert Coughlin will join the JLL Brokerage team as Managing Director in the firm’s Life Sciences industry practice in early 2021. The departing President and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, the leading trade association and policy advocacy group in New England, will serve life science companies in the Greater Boston market, as well as other primary and secondary life sciences markets.

“Bob has a strong pedigree of leadership in the life sciences industry, and I could not be more excited to have him join the firm,” said Travis McCready, Executive Director and National Practice Leader, JLL Life Sciences. “He’s known throughout the industry as both a champion of patients, and an indefatigable partner committed to ensuring that life sciences companies have the best environment possible to uncover breakthrough therapies for people around the world.”

Coughlin’s career has spanned both the public and private sectors. Before joining MassBio, he served as the Undersecretary of Economic Development within Governor Deval Patrick's administration, where he prioritized both healthcare and economic development issues and was a strong advocate for the life sciences industry in Massachusetts. Prior to that, he was elected as State Representative to the 11th Norfolk district for three terms. Coughlin has also held senior executive positions in the environmental services, capital management and venture capital industries.

“Bob brings both passion and energy to all of his endeavors and it shows in his results,” said Jim Tierney, Managing Director, New England Market, JLL. “As funding continues to fuel demand across Greater Boston, our clients couldn’t be getting a better partner than Bob to help them navigate the increasingly competitive life sciences real estate landscape.”

Greater Boston holds the title as the epicenter of life science activity in the world, with over 50 local universities, multiple world-class research hospitals and over $15 billion of private venture capital investment over the last 3 years. Additionally, the Greater Boston market is a major source for investment and talent and is home to 19 of the 20 largest biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies by market comp.

“For Biotech companies, solving complex human challenges is their top priority,” said Coughlin. “That’s why I am thrilled to make the transition into real estate. Biotechs need a strong partner who can help them identify opportunities to optimize their portfolios, whether it’s through site selection, tax incentives or operational efficiencies. I’m eager to help them improve their real estate assets so they can focus on research, development and solving unmet medical needs for patients.”

Bob is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy where he majored in Marine Engineering and served as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve. In 2014, he was awarded for his leadership in Biotechnology by the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research. He received the NTSAD advocate of the year in 2015 and was named to the Boston Business Journal’s Power 50, Top 50 Most Influential Bostonians. In 2016, he was honored with the Boston Biotech CEO Lifetime Achievement Award. His latest honors include the Trailblazer Award from the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center and being recognized as a “Healthcare Star” by the Massachusetts Health Council in 2020.

“In a time when our life science clients are taking stock of their approach to real estate and how it can further their mission, Bob will be an invaluable advisor to them,” said Matt Daniels, New England Brokerage Lead, JLL. “Bob understands this space as well as anyone and is uniquely suited to partner with life sciences companies and investors. His commitment to the industry coupled with his deep knowledge and agile leadership will help drive our business and help drive innovation in this space.”

For more news, videos, and research resources on JLL Life Sciences, please visit the firm’s life sciences web page.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $18.0 billion in 2019, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 92,000 as of September 30, 2020. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit