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Ellen Jorgensen

Co-founder and Executive Director, Genspace

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is co-founder and Executive Director of Genspace, a nonprofit community laboratory dedicated to promoting citizen science and access to biotechnology.  Since 2009 Genspace has served the greater New York area by providing educational outreach, cultural events, and a platform for science innovation at the grassroots level.  Ellen is passionate about increasing science literacy in both student and adult populations, particularly in the areas of molecular and synthetic biology.  In 2011 she initiated Genspace’s award-winning curriculum of informal science education for adults in biotechnology and synthetic biology.  Ellen has mentored three teams in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition and spearheaded many of Genspace’s outreach programs such as the Urban Barcode Project, a collaboration between Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Genspace where high school students pursue projects using DNA barcoding. Her efforts to develop Genspace into a haven for entrepreneurship, innovation and citizen science have been chronicled by Nature Medicine, Science, Discover Magazine, BBC News, Dan Rather Reports, PBS News Hour, The Discovery Channel, and The New York Times.  Ellen has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from New York University, spent many years in the biotechnology industry, and is currently adjunct faculty at New York Medical College, the School of Visual Arts, and a Visiting Professor at The Cooper Union.  Ellen’s talk ‘Biohacking- you can do it, too’ at TEDGlobal 2012 has received nearly a million views.