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Ellen Dias Jorgensen is a molecular biologist and a passionate advocate of citizen science.
She attended Columbia University and New York University, earning her doctorate in 1987. Her research interests have encompassed such diverse areas as free radicals in disease, DNA fingerprinting, virus protein structure/function relationships, and cancer biomarkers. In 1993 she helped found the nonprofit Sabin Vaccine Institute and served as its Scientific Program Director. She has held a variety of research & development positions in the biotechnology industry. From 2001 to 2009 she directed a comprehensive program to develop early detection biomarkers of lung cancer, integrating data from studies utilizing high-density expression arrays, proteomics, phosphomics, and laser scanning cytometry.
In 2009 she returned to the nonprofit sphere by co-founding Genspace NYC, the world’s first community biotechnology laboratory. Its mission is to promote science literacy and demystify the latest advances in biotechnology and synthetic biology though education, outreach, and engaging the general public in a hands-on manner. Her latest effort is Biotech Without Borders, a nonprofit aimed at distribution of tools to ensure equality of access to biotechnology.