Rana Dajani is an associate professor of biology and biotechnology at the Hashemite University in Jordan. She is an authority on the genetics of the Circassian and Chechen populations in Jordan. Her research focuses on genome-wide association studies concerning diabetes and cancer and on stem cells. She advocated the establishment of the law for stem cell research and therapy in Jordan.
At Radcliffe, Dajani is writing a book that documents—from the perspective of a female, Muslim, Arab scientist who has worked in various cultures—the challenges that women face in academia; how that varies across cultures, religions, and disciplines; and how women have dealt with these challenges in different ways. She will highlight how women’s experiences have shaped their meanings of success.
Dajani has written in Nature about education and women in the Arab World as well as science, and she is on the Arabian Business list “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women.” In 2017, she was among seven Fulbright alumni to receive the inaugural IIE Global Changemaker Award. Dajani is the founder and director of the nongovernmental organization We Love Reading, for which she has earned the Library of Congress Literacy Award Best Practices, a Stars Impact Award, the Synergos Arab World Social Innovator award, a WISE Award, and recognition from IDEO.org. A 2014 Eisenhower Fellow and a member of Jordan’s Order of Al Hussein for Distinguished Contributions of the Second Class, Dajani earned a PhD in molecular cell biology from the University of Iowa.