Rana Dajani, 01 December 2011
Hashemite University

Rana Dajani obtained a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Iowa, USA in 2005; a Fulbright alumnus, she is currently Assistant Professor in molecular biology and Director of the center of studies at the Hashemite University, Jordan. Her research focuses on genome-wide association studies concerning diabetes and cancer in ethnic populations in Jordan. Other research of hers includes signaling transduction, stem cells, and bioinformatics.

Dr. Dajani is active at various science-related fronts: organizer of the fourth scientific research conference on cancer in Jordan; consultant to the higher council for science and technology on identifying the national priorities for research in Jordan. She has written in Science and Nature about Science in the Arab world.

She is also a strong advocate of 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 last May and at the British Council ‘belief in dialogue’ conference at the American University at Sharjah last June.

In terms of education she has been recently appointed a Higher education reform expert by the TEMPUS office for Jordan. Founder of TEMPUS funded center for service learning at the Hashemite University. Advocate of teaching using problem based learning, novel reading and drama.

On the broader horizon, Dr. Dajani has developed a community-based model and philosophy “We love reading (WLR)” to encourage children to read for pleasure which received the Synergos award for Arab world social innovators 2009, a membership to the Clinton Global Initiative 2010, and a place in the upcoming book “Innovation in education”, funded by the Qatar foundation, WISE. WLR has spread throughout Jordan, the Arab world and internationally reaching Turkey, Thailand and Azerbaijan. Dr. Dajani is a consultant to the USA embassy committee for the Arab book program and speaker at TEDxDeadsea. Dr. Dajani has also established a network for women mentors and mentees.