Dr Rana Dajani

Molecular Biologist, Jordan

Dr. Dajani is a consultant to the Higher Council for Science and Technology in Jordan   She is on the UN Women Jordan Advisory Council and has written in Science and Nature about Science and women in the Arab world.. She has established a network for women mentors and mentees and received the PEER Award for the model Three Circles of Alemat.

Dr. Dajani spearheaded the effort to establish a law for stem cell research ethics in Jordan. She is a strong advocate for the theory of biological evolution and of its compatibility with Islam. As such, She was a speaker at the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship symposium at the University of Cambridge and at the British Council Belief in Dialogue conference, McGill University and MIT.

Dr. Dajani’s own lab are the world experts on the genetics of Circassian and Chechan populations in Jordan focusing on diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Dajani was chosen as one of the 20 most influential women scientists in the Islamic world 2014 and 12 among the 100 most powerful women in the Arab world 2015 and 2014 and in the women in science hall of fame 2015 and the King Hussein Cancer Institute for cancer and biotechnology award 2009.

Dr. Dajani has developed a community-based model and philosophy We love reading (WLR) to encourage children to read for pleasure which has been rolled out throughout the Arab world and internationally reaching 25 ountries including Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, Uganda and Azerbaijan.

For her work in education, she has been appointed a Higher Education Reform Expert by the EU-TEMPUS office, Jordan and an Education Expert Consultant to the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia. She founded the centre for service learning at the Hashemite University, advocates teaching using problem based learning, novel reading, drama and social media. Dr. Dajani is speaker at TEDxDeadsea and at the World Islamic Economic Forum 2012.

Dr. Dajani is Ph.D. in molecular biology, University of Iowa, USA; Eisenhower fellow, a Fulbright alumnus twice, an Associate Professor and former Director of the center of studies at the Hashemite University, Jordan, former Yale visiting professor at the Yale stem cell center and visiting Scholar University of Cambridge and visiting professor at the stem cell therapy center.

For her work with We love reading (WLR), Dr. Dajani  received the Synergos award for Arab world social innovators 2009, a membership to the Clinton Global Initiative 2010, and a place in the book Innovation in education, funded by Qatar foundation 2012, the Library of congress literary award 2013 best practices, WISE Award 2014, 50 Most Talented Social Innovators 2015 at the World CSR Congress and the King Hussein Medal of Honor 2014.  Open idea o top idea for refugee education 2015.

BASED IN: Amman, Jordan

LANGUAGES: English and Arabic


The Lancet, Huffington post, USA Today, Washington post, Al Jazeera, VOA, Chronicles of higher education, the Guardian, The Economist and Reuters.