Ellen Jorgensen is a molecular biologist and a passionate advocate of citizen science. Her research interests have encompassed such diverse areas as free radicals in disease, DNA fingerprinting, virus protein structure/function relationships, and cancer biomarkers. In 2009 she co-founded Genspace NYC, the world’s first community biotechnology laboratory. Its mission is to promote science literacy and demystify the latest advances in biotechnology and synthetic biology though education, outreach, and engaging the general public in a hands-on manner. In 2011, Genspace’s groundbreaking programs were awarded the prize for Best Social Study in Synthetic Biology at SB 5.0, the leading international synthetic biology conference. Last summer, Jorgensen’s Genspace-based team of undergraduates won a gold medal in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition. She has spearheaded many of Genspace’s outreach programs such as the collaborative effort between Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Genspace to mentor students competing in the Urban Barcode Project via the use of DNA-based species identification technologies. She has served as Genspace’s president for the past two years, and her efforts to develop Genspace into a haven for entrepreneurship, innovation and citizen science have been chronicled in Nature Medicine, Science, BBC News, Discover Magazine, PBS News Hour, and The New York Times.