Cell Biologist & Chemist. Majored in Chemistry, Zoology, and Botany, in the BS program, at BJB College in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India; MS in Zoology (Endocrinology) from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India; and Ph.D. in Zoology (Molecular Endocrinology) from Iowa State University, Ames Iowa, USA; Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University; Assistant Professor at Yale University, and in 2000, joined the Department of Physiology, at Wayne State University School of Medicine, as Professor and Founder-Director of the Institute of NanoBioScience. In 2004, the title of Distinguished Professor and George E. Palade University Professor conferred by the Board of Governors of Wayne State University.
Prof Jena’s scientific enquiry on how cells secrete, led to the discovery of the “porosome” - a new cellular structure and a molecular nanomachine, demonstrated to be the cells secretory portal, 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 cryo-electron microscopy, and small angle X-ray solution and neutron scattering among other projects. In the past two decades, Prof. Jena has been engaged in research and educational institution building, to bring the benefits of science and education to society.
Among the honors and awards received over the years are: 2015 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine; Elected Foreign Member of the Georgian National Academy of Science; Fellow AAAS; 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; Elected Foreign Member of the Korea Academy of Science & Technology; Elected Foreign Member of the National Academy of Medicine, Romania; 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 academic institutions.