I’ve launched season two of Yes! Science! today with a profile on Dr. Jennifer Chain as she celebrates her 20th anniversary as a scientist this week. Funny story. When we were talking about where we lived, we found out that we live on the same street.
Dr. Jennifer Chain is an experimental immunologist with 20 years of scientific and research experience in academia, biotechnology, consulting, and non-profit. She grew up in Amarillo, Texas and graduated in 2000 from Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, OK) with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry.
Beginning in 1998, Jennifer worked as a research technician at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) and as an undergraduate intern for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She earned her Ph.D. in Immunology in 2005 from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center studying human αβ and γδ thymocyte developmental checkpoints under the mentorship of Linda Thompson, PhD. In early 2006, Dr. Chain began the first of her postdoctoral fellowships at National Jewish Health where she studied γδ T cell activation and function with Rebecca O’Brien, PhD and Willi Born, PhD. Next, Jennifer studied CD4 memory T cell and macrophage function in clinical and autoimmune lung disorders in the laboratory of Andrew Fontenot, MD at the University of Colorado Denver. In 2014 Jennifer followed her postdoctoral fellowships with an industry experience at a CLIA-accredited diagnostic testing company in Oklahoma called Moleculera Labs. There she performed diagnostic testing, secured $300,000 in grant funding, and led a project to discover new biomarkers in autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders.
To apply and expand on the expertise she gained in her early-career research experiences, Dr. Chain started her own R&D consulting firm in 2016 called Experimental Solutions to help scientists advance their research and product development goals. As a consultant, Jennifer has helped academic, biotech, and non-profit clients design, perform, and analyze experiments, train staff, manage projects, and write procedures, publications, grant applications, and marketing documents.
Since 2017, Dr. Chain has served as the Science Officer for Cellular Therapies at the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). Through the organization’s Bio-Development division, Jennifer is starting a stem cell and cell therapy research and development laboratory. The work Dr. Chain is doing through OBI will lead to cutting-edge advancements in anti-cancer immunotherapies and regenerative medicine applications and increase the accessibility of these therapies to more patients.
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