Goodnight-NC GSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences, Associate Director of PreMiEr, and Co-Director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center
School of Public and International Affairs, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Jennifer Kuzma, PhD is the Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences and co-founder and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center, at NC State University where she’s been since 2013. Prior to this, she was associate professor of science and technology policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota (2003-2013) where she served as chair of the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Area and co-lead several interdisciplinary programs such as a graduate minor in Risk Analysis for Introduced Species and Genotypes and the Initiative for REnewable Energy and the Environment. From 1998 to 2003, she was study director for several U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) reports related to biotechnology and bioterrorism; and in 1997-1998 was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Risk Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she participated in several farm-to-fork risk analyses for foodborne pathogens. She has over 125 scholarly publications on emerging technologies, social science, and governance and has been studying this area for over 25 years.
She was one of the pioneers in studying the societal implications of agrifood nanotechnology, gene-editing, and synthetic biology, and in 2019 was elected a AAAS Fellow for distinguished work in anticipatory governance of new technologies, and methods for oversight policy analysis. She was elected to the NC State Research Leadership Academy and received the Alumni Outstanding Faculty Research Award in 2020. In 2014, she received the SRA Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer Award for her contributions to the field of risk analysis and in 2017-2018 she was awarded the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Science Policy. She is interviewed frequently in the media for her expertise in biotechnology policy, including the New York Times, Science, The Scientist, Nature, NPR, Washington Post, Scientific American, BBC, PBS Nova, Wired, and ABC & NBC News.
Kuzma has held several national and international leadership positions, including a member of the World Economic Forum Council on Technology, Values and Policy; the NASEM Committee on Preparing for Future Biotechnology, Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Council Member and Secretary, UN FAO Expert Group on Food Nanotechnologies, FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee, and AAAS-American Bar Association National Council of Scientists and Lawyers. As a former natural scientist, she was the first to discover that bacteria produce isoprene, a precursor to natural rubber, and holds the first patent for methods for bacterial production. Her postdoctoral work on plant drought and salinity tolerance resulted in a highly-cited article in the journal Science which identified a molecular signalling pathway for plant drought and salinity tolerance.
Postdoctoral Associate, Rockefeller University; PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder; BS, University of St. Thomas
Risk analysis, Governance, Public policy, Responsible innovation
Grants & Projects
CURRENT EXTERNAL SUPPORT
- Kuzma J. (coPI; overall, PI for NC State) Precision Microbiome Engineering (PreMiEr) Center EEC-2133504, NSF-ERC – $26,000,000 ($4M to NC State, $2M to GES Center), 2022-2027.
- Kuzma J (coPI). Interdisciplinary Approaches to Evaluate Societal Implications and Foster Sustainability of Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture (Grant #2022-67023-36730). USDA-NIFA – $650,000, 2022-2025. K. Grieger (PI)
- Kuzma J. coI. Improving Crop Productivity and Value Through Heterogeneous Data Integration, Analytics, and Decision Support Platforms. GRIP-4PSI Initiative – $ 556,250, 2020-2023. C. Williams (PI), Khara Grieger coPI
- Kuzma J. (coPI). Agricultural Biotechnology in Our Evolving Food, Energy & Water Systems (AgBioFEWS). F. Gould PI, Z. Brown, J. Delborne, J. Kuzma, and H. Sederoff coPI. National Science Foundation, National Research Traineeships Program – $2,997,350. 2018-2023.
- Kuzma J. (coPI; PI at NC State). Implications of Solar Radiation Management for Strategic Behavior and Climate Governance. M. Borksuk, (PI Duke), Pizer, Wiener (coPI Duke) K. Grieger coPI (NCSU). National Science Foundation, Decision, Risk and Management Sciences – $559,381. 2020-2023
PAST EXTERNAL SUPPORT (Since 2013)
- Kuzma, J. coPI. Assessment of the Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Gene-editing via CRISPR-based Technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean. InterAmerican Development Bank – $450,000, 2020-2022. T. Kuiken (PI), M. Jones, Z. Brown coPIs.
- Kuzma J (coPI, Informing a Risk Assessment Research Strategy for Gene Drive Agricultural Applications through Interdisciplinary Dialogue and Exchange (Biotech Risk Assessment Grant), USDA-NIFA – $25,000, 2020-2022. K. Barnhill-Dilling (PI), coPIs K.Grieger, J. Delborne, C. Cummings
- Kuzma J (coPI). Social Implications and Best Practices for Responsible Innovation of Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture. Khara Grieger (PI). USDA-NIFA – $495,000. 2019-2021.
- Kuzma, J. (coPI). Piloting Cooperative Governance of Applications of Crop Gene Editing to Cover Crops and Cash Cover Crops. N. Jordan (PI), Tim Smith (coPI). Walton Foundation – $199,641.* 2019-2020. *note: funds are based at U of MN
- Kuzma J, coI SSHRC Canada (2017-2019) $195, 166 @Risk: Strengthening Canada’s Ability to Manage Risk M. Gattinger PI (U of Ottawa), and others VI. Kuzma J. PI NSF 2016-2018 $350,000 Facilitating Learning about Meanings of Responsible Innovation in Bioengineering F. Gould, D. Berube, E. Banks, and J. Herkert co-PIs
- Kuzma, J. PI NSF 2015-2017 $50,000 Gene Drives: A Deliberative Workshop to Develop Frameworks for Research and Governance Fred Gould co-PI VIII. Kuzma, J. PI USDA 2013-2014 $39,384 Comparing Public Attitudes Towards Genetically-Modified and Nanotechnology-Based Foods and Labeling (via USDA Food Policy Research Center) C. Yue, co-PI
- Kuzma, J. PI NSF 2014 $50,000 Science and Technology Policy: Systems Approaches to Research and Practice X. Kuzma J., PI Sloan Foundation 2013-2015 $173,703 Looking Forward to Synthetic Biology Governance: Convergent Research Cases to Promote Policy-Making and Dialogue C. Cummings (coPI)
MEDIA APPEARANCES 2018-2020
- Work featured and cited in “Can CRISPR Save Tufty Fluffytail?”in JSTOR Daily, January 24, 2020.
- Quoted in and featured in Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) documentary. “Gene editing could revolutionize the food industry, but it’ll have to fight the PR war GMO foods lost” January 12, 2020.
- Work featured and cited in “Tempering Tech with Collective Wisdom” Earth Island Journal, December 21, 2019.
- Quoted in NC State News “Fusing Disciplines, Transforming Graduate Education” January 2, 2020.
- Quoted in Vice News “The Man Bringing Morality to Gene Editing”. November 18, 2019.
- Quoted in The Technician “Margaret Atwood discusses her ‘prophetic’ novel, effects of new science developments on society” November 17, 2019.
- Quoted in The National Review “The world’s banana crops are under threat from a deadly fungus. Is gene editing the answer?” November 6, 2019.
- Quoted in The Singularity article “CRISPR Just Created a Hornless Bull, and It’s a Step Forward for Gene-Edited Food” Oct. 22, 2019.
- Featured in “The Yogurt Industry Has Been Using CRISPR for a Decade”, The Atlantic, October 14, 2019.
- Featured in podcast Gastropod “What is CRISPR doing in our Food?” Oct 7, 2019.
- Work featured and quoted in Common Dreams article on USDA to Biotech: Call Your Own Compliance, July 31, 2019.
- Quoted in Nature magazine “CRISPR conundrum: Strict European court ruling leaves food-testing labs without a plan” July 23, 2019.
- Quoted in Sciline story on “Hacking Photosynthesis” July 20,2019.
- Quoted in and research article featured in The Guardian, “Crispr gene-editing will change the way Americans eat – here’s what’s coming” May 28, 2019.
- Quoted in Bioscience Gene Editing in the Wild: Who Decides—and How? Nicki Wilson. April 2019.
- Quoted in and article featured in “The agritech industry is editing plant genomes to feed a growing population, expand the produce aisle, and make tastier, more convenient food products” A. Taylor, The Scientist. February 1, 2019.
- Quoted extensively in OKAY, LET’S SETTLE THIS—ARE GMOS BAD FOR YOU OR NOT? January 30, 2019.
- Quoted in Johnson, Carolyn. Gene-edited farm animals are coming. Will we eat them? Washington Post. December 17, 2018.
- Quoted in O’Callaghan, Jonathan. Science is racing to stop another CRISPR baby from being born. WIRED. December 18, 2018.
- Interview contributed to and quoted in Leaps Magazine What’s the Right Way to Regulate Gene-Edited Crops? FEATURE STORY Kenneth Miller November 16, 2018.
- Quoted in Gene-Editing Finding its Way to the Farm by Clinton Griffiths Dairy Herd Management. November 19, 2018.
- Quoted and interviewed for Next generation of biotech food heading for grocery stores. Associated Press radio, TV, and print story (Lauren Neergard). November 14, 2018. Appeared in many local and regional radio and TV and print news stories nationwide.
- Interviewed as focus of podcast Science for the Rest of Us. October 1, 2018. Regulation of Genetically Engineered Organisms.
- Quoted in Wired magazine, September 24, 2018. Here’s the Plan to End Malaria With Crispr-Edited Mosquitoes.
- Quoted in Sarasota Herald Tribune, August 28, 2018. Processed Food: Genetically modified or gene-edited: Is there a difference?
- Quoted in Washington Post, The Future of Food. August 11, 2018. (Duluth Tribune, Australian Financial Times, SF Gate)
- Quoted in New York Times, What is a Genetically Modified Crop? European Court Ruling Sows Confusion. July 28, 2018 page B5. (reprinted in Minneapolis Star Tribune, etc.)
- Quoted in Bloomberg News, “Rewriting the genetic code of life” July 19, 2018.
- Quoted in “GMO grass is creeping across Oregon”, High Country News. June 25, 2018.
- Quoted in Trump’s plan to reshuffle government strikes familiar notes. Science magazine. June 21, 2018.
- Quoted in Scientific American, Weeds Are Winning in the War against Herbicide Resistance. June 18, 2018.
- Quoted in “Pesticide resistance study aims to broaden conversation about pest evolution”. The Technician. Alicia Thomas, Jun 11, 2018
- Quoted in Wall Street Journal. Is This Tomato Engineered? Inside the Coming Battle Over Gene-Edited Food. April 15, 2018. (also Podcast on WSJ site to accompany article)
- Briefing for journalists on gene drives hosted by AAAS. April 25, 2018. Sciline.org
- Interviewed for “Talking Biotech” Podcast. “How do we decide whether to use gene drives? April 9, 2018.
- Alumni Association Outstanding Research Faculty Award and Induction to Research Leadership Academy, NC State University, 2020
- American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow (elected), 2018
- Canada Fulbright Research Chair in Policy Sciences, 2017-2018
- Outstanding Social Scientist Research Award , NC State University, 2019
- Academy of Excellence in Global Engagement, NC State University, 2019
- Elected as an Officer of AAAS Section X Societal Implications of STEM, 2018-present
- Special Recognition for Outstanding Mentoring, NC State University, 2017
- SRA Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer Award, 2014
- Elected Secretary and Council Member for Society for Risk Analysis, 2014-2016
- Humphrey School Dean’s Scholar, 2012-2013
- Best Technical Article GOLD-Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association, 2010
- Nominated for APPAM Best Comparative Paper, 2010
- Institute on the Environment UMN Resident Fellow, 2009-2012
- Teacher of the Year, Humphrey Institute, 2004