Rana Dajani

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Rana Dajani
Rana Dajani.jpg
Alma materUniversity of Iowa
Known formolecular biologist
Scientific career
Fieldsmolecular biology
InstitutionsHashemite University

Rana Dajani is a Jordanian molecular biologist and Associate Professor at Hashemite University.[1] Dajani is born to a Palestine father and a Syrian mother and she describes herself as “half Palestinian and half Syrian with a Jordanian passport”.[2][3][4] Dajani earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology in 2005 from the University of Iowa.[5] She has fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University[6], and Eisenhower Fellowship.[7] Dr. Dajani is a Fulbright scholar alumna, having received two Fulbright awards.[8][9] She is a former Yale visiting professor at the Yale stem cell center and visiting Scholar at both University of Cambridge and the Stem Cell Therapy Center, Jordan.[10]

The UK-based Muslim Science Magazine praised her as one of the most influential women scientists in the Islamic World; and she was ranked #13 among the "100 Most Powerful Arab Women" in CEO Middle East Magazine.[11]

Honors and awards[edit]

The U.S. Embassy in Jordan in concert with the U.S. Embassy Amman’s Environment, Science, Technology and Health Office for the Middle East and North Africa inducted Dajani into the Women in Science Hall of Fame in 2015.[11][12] This honor recognized her work and theories on biological evolution and Islam, focusing on genome-wide research on diabetes, cancer and stem cells.[13] She was instrumental in establishing the terms of law for the use of stem cell therapy in Jordan, which opened the door for regulation in the Arab and Islamic world.[11]

Dajani is an advocate for science education for women, as well as for biological evolution theory in relation to Islam.[14] She founded and directed the We Love Reading program that advocates for child literacy across 30 countries.[12] We Love Reading mentored and trained 730 women in the techniques of storytelling and in 2017 it wins UNESCO’s King Sejong Literacy Prize.[15] The outcome of this led to the establishment of 330 libraries throughout Jordan, enriching the literacy of over 10,000 children, 60% of whom were female. [16] For this work she received the following honors: the 2015 Star Award for education impact; a 2015 honor for the 50 Most Talented Social Innovators at the World CSR Congress; the 2015 OpenIDEO "Top Idea" for child refugees; she received the Library of Congress Literary Award for Best Practices in 2013; in 2009 she received the Synergos award for Arab world social innovators.[12]

In 2010, Dajani was inducted into the membership of the Clinton Global Initiative of the Clinton Foundation.[17][18] In 2014 Dajani won the WISE Qatar Award, and the 2014 King Hussein Medal of Honor, and in 2009 received the King Hussein Cancer Center & Biotechnology Institute award.[12] In october 2017 she was selected by Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study as a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Programme at Harvard University.[19]

Publications and speaking engagements[edit]

Dajani is a member of the United Nations' Jordanian Women's Advisory Council. She has published in several peer reviewed journals and in Science, and in Nature journals.[20] Among her speaking engagements is the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship symposium at the University of Cambridge; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McGill University, and at the British Council Belief in Dialogue conference.[21]


  1. ^ Rana. B. MR. Al-Dajani, Hashemite University, retrieved 2017-08-02.
  2. ^ "'A plant in the middle of the desert': women and STEM in the Arab world". Times Higher Education (THE). 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  3. ^ www.amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Rana-Dajani/e/B07MYZ68ZJ. Retrieved 2020-02-01. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ UnderwoodFeb. 28, Emily; 2018; Am, 9:30 (2018-02-28). "In war zones and refugee camps, researchers are putting resilience interventions to the test". Science | AAAS. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  5. ^ Past students in Molecular Medicine (formerly Molecular & Cellular Biology), University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, retrieved 2017-08-02.
  6. ^ "Rana Dajani". Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  7. ^ "Eisenhower Fellows website".
  8. ^ Yale News, First Person: A Fulbrighter at Yale.
  9. ^ "Jordanian Fulbright Alumna Receives Global Changemaker Award". Amidest. America-MidEast Educational and Training Services. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  10. ^ Dajani, Rana (2014-06-12). "Jordan's stem-cell law can guide the Middle East". Nature. 510 (7504): 189–189. doi:10.1038/510189a. PMID 24919888.
  11. ^ a b c "Embassy Amman honors Dr. Rana Dajani Associate Professor Molecular Cell Biology at the Hashemite University". U. S. Embassy in Jordan. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d "Rana Dajani We Love to Read, Jordan Founder and Director". Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. ^ Clark, Kelly James (2014). Religion and the Sciences of Origins: Historical and Contemporary Discussions. Springer. ISBN 9781137414816. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  14. ^ "'The Anti-Revolutionary': One on one with Dr. Rana Dajani". Muslim Science. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Jordan's "We Love Reading" wins UNESCO's King Sejong Literacy Prize - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". www.unesco.org.
  16. ^ "Rana Dajani SYNERGOS Social Entrepreneur". Synergos. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  17. ^ Elmasry, Faiza (September 29, 2010). "Grassroots Libraries Promote Love of Reading". Voice of America. VOA. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Clinton Global Initiative". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Jordanian Scholar Wins Harvard Fellowship". Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. 2017-11-01. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  20. ^ Dajani, Naja (31 October 2012). "How women scientists fare in the Arab world". Nature. 491 (7422): 9. doi:10.1038/491009a. PMID 23128188. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Dr. Rana Dajani, Molecular Biologist, Jordan". Bulbula Changing Conversations. Retrieved 4 August 2017.