Bhanu P. Jena
George E. Palade University Professor & Distinguished Professor Wayne State University
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Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Scott Hall, E. Canfield Ave., Detroit, MI 48201; Web:
President & Director (Currently Honorary), Viron Molecular Medicine Institute (MMI):

Prof. Bhanu P. Jena was born in Jajpur, a small town in Odisha, India, on November 1, 1955, to Manju and Prafulla Jena. His early childhood was spent in remote villages in Odisha, where his grandfather Dr. Braja Kishore Jena practiced medicine. The dedication of his grandfather and his father Prof. Prafulla Ku. Jena who served as the Director General of the Council of Scientific Research and Secretary of Science & Technology in the Govt. of India, to science and medicine and their service to humanity greatly influenced Prof. Jena to choose a career in science. He majored in Chemistry, Zoology, and Botany, for his Undergraduate Degree at BJB College in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India (B.Sc., 1975) and completed his Masters in Zoology (Endocrinology) from Utkal University, Odisha, India (M.Sc., 1978). Prof. Jena graduated top of his graduating class in the Masters of Science program and received the Prasant Ku. Memorial Prize and the Utkal University Gold Medal. In December of 1988, Prof. Jena received his Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) in Zoology (Molecular Endocrinology), and the Research Excellence Award from Iowa State University, Ames, USA. Following postdoctoral training as a Fellow at Yale University, he accepted a faculty appointment at Yale University as an Assistant Professor, and in 2000, moved to the Department of Physiology, at Wayne State University School of Medicine, as a tenured full Professor, and Founder-Director of the Institute of NanoBioScience. In 2004, Prof. Jena was conferred the title of Distinguished Professor, and the George E. Palade University Professor by the Board of Governors of Wayne State University. Prof. Jena remains the only living University Professor, and the second at Wayne State University’s 160-year history.

Since high school, Prof. 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 the complexity of ‘the cell’ in electron micrographs, similar to the complexity of a city, yet every aspect of its function is so precisely regulated. His scientific enquiry on how cells secrete, led to the discovery of the “porosome” -a new cellular structure and the molecular nanomachine, demonstrated to be the universal secretory portal in cells involved in the fractional release of intra-vesicular contents during secretion. Currently, the major focus of his laboratory is to determine the distribution of proteins within the porosome complex using single particle cryoelectron microscopy, and small angle x-ray solution and neutron scattering. In the past two decades, Prof. Jena has been involved in institution building to bring the benefits of science and education to society, resulting among others, the creation of the Viron Molecular Medicine Institute (MMI) in Boston, USA [].

Among the honors and awards Prof. Jena has received includes among others: the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine; Elected Foreign Member of the Georgian National Academy of Science; Fellow AAAS; Elected Foreign Member of the Korea Academy of Science & Technology; Elected Foreign Member of the National Academy of Medicine, Romania; Elected to the European Union Academy of Science; the Swebelius Cancer Research Award; the Hallim Distinguished Award Lecture jointly with the Prof. Ahmed H. Zewail; Sir. Aaron Klug Award; ASAS Basic Biological Science Award; Ranbaxy Basic Research in Medical Sciences Award; George E. Palade Gold Medal; Elected to the Academy of Scholars at Wayne State University; six Honorary Doctorates including one from Babes-Bolyai University, Romania, jointly with Prof’s George E. Palade and Günter Blobel; and Distinguished Visiting Professorships in a number of institutions. Recently, an endowed Distinguished Lecture has been established honoring Prof. Jena:

Prof. Jena reflects” “Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to avail the opportunity to learn from wonderful teachers and scholars, and to work with students and colleagues with a passion for science. My parents and my family have been a great source of peace, inspiration, and joy in my life.” “The three stages of truth: At first it is ridiculed. Then, violently opposed and finally become accepted as self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).

Dr. Bhanu P. Jena CV: pdf attachedJENA FULL CV.pdf
George E. Palade Award & Recipients:
Awardees (2003 - 2018): pdf attached
George E. Palade Award (2003 - 2018).pdf