Distinguished Professor Bhanu P. Jena is a leading cell biologist and chemist, who has made seminal contributions to our understanding of cell secretion, membrane fusion and transport. He is currently the Founder and Chairman of Porosome Therapeutics, Inc.
Since high school, Professor Jena’s passion has been to understand the workings of the unit of life, ‘the cell.’ At a very early age, he was fascinated by its complexity in electron micrographs. He recognized that, similar to the complexity of a city, every aspect of cellular function is precisely regulated. His scientific enquiry on how cells secrete to communicate with the trillions of other cells in the human body, led to the discovery of the “porosome,” a new cellular structure and a molecular nanomachine, demonstrated to be the universal secretory portal in cells. Throughout his academic career, Professor Jena has focused on bringing the benefits of science and education to society.
Professor Jena majored in Chemistry, Zoology and Botany, from BJB College in Bhubaneswar, Odisha and completed Masters in Zoology (Endocrinology) from Utkal University, graduating top of his class in the Master of Science program and received the Prasant Ku. Memorial Prize and the Utkal University Gold Medal. In 1988, Professor Jena received his Doctorate Degree and the Research Excellence Award from Iowa State University. Following postdoctoral training at Yale University, he accepted an Assistant Professor appointment at Yale University School of Medicine, and in 2000, moved to the School of Medicine at Wayne State University (WSU) as a tenured full Professor and Founder-Director of the Institute of NanoBioScience. In 2004, he was conferred the title of Distinguished Professor and the George E. Palade University Professor by the University Board of Governors.
Among the honors and awards Professor Jena has received are: Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine; Foreign Member of the Georgian National Academy of Science; Fellow AAAS; Foreign Member of the Korea Academy of Science & Technology; Foreign Member of the National Academy of Medicine, Romania; European Union Academy of Science; Swebelius Cancer Research Award; Hallim Distinguished Award jointly with Professor Ahmed H. Zewail; Sir. Aaron Klug Award; ASAS Basic Biological Science Award; Ranbaxy Basic Research in Medical Sciences Award; George E. Palade Gold Medal; Academy of Scholars at Wayne State University; six Honorary Doctorates including one from Babes-Bolyai University, Romania, jointly with Professor George E. Palade and Professor Günter Blobel and an editorial reflecting their contributions to science. Professor Jena holds Distinguished Honorary Professorships in numerous institutions, including the University of Delhi.