Prof Jennifer Kuzma

Picture of Prof Jennifer Kuzma

Named Distinguished Professor


Jennifer Kuzma, PhD.; Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, and co-founder and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center (, at NC State University.   The GES center represents a key interdisciplinary cluster at NC State of over 30 affiliated faculty and graduate students that integrates science and public values to inform the future of genetic engineering.  The Center maintains external partnerships with stakeholders locally, nationally and globally, and has led several research, education and engagement initiatives that improve dialogue, technology development, and decision making about the applications of genetic engineering.

            Prior to her current position, Professor Kuzma was associate professor of science and technology policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota (2003-2013).  Here she was Area and Degree Program Chair of Science, Technology and Environmental Policy; Associate and Interim Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy; coPI of the NSF Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Risk Analysis for Introduced Species; and Associate Director of the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment.  Before that (1997 to 2003), she served as program and study director for several U.S. National Academy of Sciences reports related to biotechnology governance and bioterrorism and as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Risk Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis. 

She has over 120 scholarly publications on emerging technologies, risk analysis, regulatory policy, and governance and has been studying these areas for over 25 years.  Her recent work on biotechnology governance has been funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, National Science Foundation, and US Department of Agriculture.  She is currently coPI of a new NSF-National Research Traineeship interdisciplinary graduate program on Agricultural Biotechnology in Food, Energy and Water Systems (AgBioFEWS).

Kuzma has held several local, national and international leadership positions, including a member of  World Economic Forum  Global Futures Council on Technology, Values and Policy; the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Preparing for Future Biotechnology, Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Council Member and Secretary, Chair of the Gordon Conference on Science & Technology Policy, Member of the US FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee, AAAS-American Bar Association National Council of Scientists and Lawyers, Governor’s Bioscience Advisory Committee, and a Member of the UN WHO-FAO Expert Group for Nanotechnologies in Food and Agriculture. In 2014, she received the SRA Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer Award for recognition of her contributions to the field of risk analysis and in 2017-2018 she was awarded the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Science Policy at the U of Ottawa.  In 2019 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished translational work in bridging the bench and society, advancing anticipatory governance of new technologies, and contributions to methods for oversight policy analysis. She was one of the early pioneers in studying the societal implications of gene editing, synthetic biology, and agrifood nanotechnology. She is interviewed frequently in the media for her work and expertise in technology policy, including the New York Times, Science, The Scientist, Nature, NPR, Washington Post, Scientific American, Boston Globe, PBS Nova, Wired, and ABC & NBC News.

She obtained her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the U of CO Boulder in 1995.  Here she discovered bacterial isoprene production and holds the first patent for methods for bacterial production of isoprene (bioisoprene).  Her postdoctoral work was completed at the Rockefeller University in New York where she worked on plant drought and salinity tolerance mechanisms, leading to an article in the journal Science.   



Governance of Emerging Technologies

Funded Research

1) Kuzma J coPI    USDA-NIFA 2019-2022     $495,000

Social Implications and Best Practices for Responsible Innovation of Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture,

Khara Grieger, PI

2) Kuzma J, coI   SSHRC Canada            2017-2019       $195, 166

@Risk: Strengthening Canada’s Ability to Manage Risk. M. Gattinger PI (U of Ottawa)

 3) Kuzma J. coPI    NSF NRT  2018-2023    $2,997,350

Agricultural Biotechnology in Our Evolving Food, Energy & Water Systems (AgBioFEWS), National Science Foundation, National Research Traineeships Program

F. Gould PI, Z. Brown, J. Delborne, J. Kuzma, and H. Sederoff coPIs

4) Kuzma, J. PI National Science Foundation (NSF) 2015-2016  $50,000

Gene Drives: A Deliberative Workshop to Develop Frameworks for Research and Governance
Fred Gould co-PI

 5) Kuzma J. PI National Science Foundation (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

6)  Kuzma J., PI Alfred P. Sloan Foundation  2013-2015  $173,703

Looking Forward to Synthetic Biology Governance: Convergent Research Cases to Promote Policy-Making and Dialogue

Christopher Cummings, Nanyang Technical University. co-PI

Extension and Community Engagement

see CV


1)     Trump, B., Cummings, C., Kuzma, J. and I. Linkov.  (Eds) (2019, in press). Synthetic Biology 2020: Frontiers in Risk Analysis and Governance.  Springer: Dordecht.

2) Delborne, J., Kuzma, J., Gould, F., Frow, E., Leitschuh, C. & Sudweeks, J. (Eds.).  (2018). “Roadmap to Gene Drives.” Spec. issue of Journal of Responsible Innovation (Taylor &Francis).  Volume 5, Issue S1

3)     Valdez RX, Kuzma J, Cummings C, and N. Peterson.  Anticipating Risks, Governance Needs, and Public Perceptions of De-extinction (2019).  Journal of Responsible Innovation.

4)     Kuzma  J. (2019). Governance of genetically engineered animals in the wild:  A need for procedurally-robust risk analysis. Regulation and Governance DOI:10.1111/rego.12245

5)     Ndoh, T., Cummings C. and J. Kuzma.  “Exploring ‘Expert Cultures’ for Assessing Synthetic Biology”.  In Trump, B., Cummings, C., Kuzma, J. and I. Linkov.  (Eds) (2019, in press). Synthetic Biology 2020: Frontiers in Risk Analysis and Governance.  Springer: Dordrecht.

6)     Trump, B. Cummings, C., Galaitsi, S. Kuzma J., and I. Linkov. “Synthetic Biology: Applications, Risk, Governance, and Society”. In Trump, B., Cummings, C., Kuzma, J. and I. Linkov.  (Eds) (2019, in press). Synthetic Biology 2020: Frontiers in Risk Analysis and Governance.  Springer: Dordrecht.

7)     Kofler, N., Collins JP, Kuzma J, Marris E, Brown, T., Caccone A., Dahlman JE, Esvelt K, Jacobsen R, Nelson MP, Newhouse A, Prince S, Rothschild LJ, Semenov M, Viglotti VS, and OJ Schmitz. (2018). Editing Nature: A call for global integrated deliberation to safeguard gene-editing of wild species. Science 362(6414):

8)     Kuzma J.  (2018). Regulating Gene Edited Crops. Issues in Science & Technology 35(1): 80-85.

9)     Kuzma J. & P. Roberts (2018): Cataloguing the barriers facing RRI in innovation pathways: a response to the dilemma of societal alignment, Journal of Responsible Innovation, 5(3): 338-346.

10)  Gould F., Brown ZS, and J Kuzma. (2018). Wicked evolution: Can we address the sociobiological dilemma of pesticide resistance? Science  360: 728–732. DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3780

11)  Linkov, I., Trump BD, Anklam E, Berube D, Boisseasu P, Cummings C, Dana G, Ferson S, Florin M-V,  Goldstein B, Hristozov, Jensen, Kuzma J, et al. (2018). Science and practice of risk policy and governance for emerging technologies. Environmental Systems and Decisions

12)  Kuzma, J. F Gould , Z Brown , J Collins , J Delborne ,  E Frow , K Esvelt , D Guston,   C Leitschuh,    K Oye ,  & S Stauffer (2018 A roadmap for gene drives: using institutional analysis and development to frame research needs and governance in a systems context.  Journal of Responsible Innovation 5 (S1):13-39.

13)  Meghani, Z. and J. Kuzma (2018).  Regulating animals with gene drive systems: lessons from the regulatory assessment of a genetically engineered mosquito. Journal of Responsible Innovation 5(S1): 203-222.

14)  Delborne J., Kuzma, J.,, Gould, F., Frow, E., Leitschuh, C.,  and J. Sudweeks. (2018) “Mapping Research and Governance Needs for Gene Drives”.  Journal of Responsible Innovation 5(S1): 4-12.

15)  Trump B., Cummings C, Kuzma, J. and I. Linkov (2018). A Decision Analytic Model to Guide Early-Stage Government Regulatory Action: Applications for Synthetic Biology. Regulation and Governance 12: 88-100.

16)  Jordan, N., K.M. Dorn, K.E. Wolf, P.M. Ewing, A.L. Fernandez, B.C. Runck, A. Williams, Y. Lu and, J. Kuzma. (2017). A Cooperative Governance Network for Crops Produced by Genome Editing. EMBO Journal,  18(10): 1683-1687.

17)  Herkert J., Kuzma, J. Roberts, P.,  Banks, E (2017). Ethics and responsible innovation in biotechnology communities: A pedagogy of engaged scholarship.  Proceedings of the 2017 ASEE Annual Conference 18015: 1-20.

18)  Kuzma, J. (2017).  “Society and Policy Makers’ Responsibilities” In Consumer Perception of Product Risks and Benefits Eds: G. Emilien, R. Weitkunat and F. Luedicke.  Springer: Dordrecht.

19)  Kuzma, J. (2017).  Trails and Trials in Biotechnology Policy.  Pp 85-95  In Women in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Biotechnology Ed. L. Privalle.  Springer.

20)  Kuzma J. (2017).  “Risk, Environmental Governance, and Emerging Biotechnology” In Environmental Governance Reconsidered: Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities, 2nd edition.  Eds. R. Durant, DJ Fiorino, and R O’Leary.   MIT Press

21)  Kuzma J. (2017).  Forum: Biosecurity Governance for a Realistic New World.  Issues in Science and Technology 33: (2).

22)  Cummings C. and J. Kuzma (2017) Societal Risk Evaluation Scheme (SRES): Scenario-based Multi-criteria Evaluation of Synthetic Biology Applications. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0168564.doi:10.1371/journal.


23)  Kuzma J. (2016).  A Missed Opportunity for Biotech Regulation.  Science 353: 1211-1213.

24)  Kuzma J. and L. Rawls. (2016)  Engineering the Wild: Gene Drives and Intergenerational Equity. Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science and Technology 56 (3):  279-296.

25)  Kuzma, J. (2016). Rebooting the Debate about Genetic Engineering.  Nature 531: 165-167.

26)  Kuzma, J. and J.P. Roberts. (2016) Is Adaptation or Transformation Needed ? : Active Nanomaterials and Risk Analysis.  Journal of Nanoparticle Research 18(7), 215-

27)  Kuzma J., A. Kokotovich, and A. Kuzhabekova. (2016).  Attitudes Towards Governance of Gene Editing. Asian Biotechnology Development Review 18(1): 69-92.

28)  Kuzma J.  (2015) Technology Governance Alternatives.  Issues in Science and Technology 32(1): 10-11

29)  Yue, C. Shuoli, Z, Cummings, C. and J. Kuzma.  (2015) Investigating Factors Influencing Consumer Willingness to Buy GM Food and Nano-food: An Application of Structural Equation Modeling.   Journal of Nanoparticle Research 17:283-302.

30)  Brown, J, Fatehi, L, and J. Kuzma. (2015) Altruism and Skepticism in public attitudes toward food nanotechnology.  Journal of Nanoparticle Research 17:122-140.

31)  Kuzma, J. (2015) Translational Governance Research for Synthetic Biology. Journal of Responsible Innovation DOI: 10.1080/23299460.2014.1002055

32)  Yue, C. Shuoli, Z, and J. Kuzma. (2015) Heterogeneous Consumer Preferences for Nanotechnology and Genetic-Modification Technology in Food Products.  Journal of Agricultural Economics, 66(2), 308-328

33)  Kokotovich, A. and J. Kuzma J (2014). Anticipatory governance and contested futures: Insights from the next generation of genetic engineering. Bulletin of  Science, Technology and Society 34(4): 108-120.

34)  Kuzma, J. (2014) “Properly Paced or Problematic?:  Examing Governance of GMOs”  in Innovative Governance Models for Emerging Technologies Editors Gary Marchant, Kenneth Abbott and Braden Allenby.  Edward Elgar (editorial peer review)

35)  Kuzhabekova, A. and J. Kuzma (2014) Mapping the Emerging Field of Genome Editing.  Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 26(3): 321-352.

36)  Gilna, B., Kuzma J., and Showwalter, S. (2014) “Governance for Genetic Biocontrol Technologies for Invasive Species.”  Biological Invasions 16(6): 1299-1332.

37)  Haase, R. , J. Bielicki, and J. Kuzma.  (2013) Innovation in Emerging Energy Technologies: A case study analysis to inform the path forward for algal biofuels. Energy Policy, 61:1595–1607

38)  Brown, J., and J. Kuzma.  (2013) “Hungry for Information:  Public Attitudes toward Food Nanotechnology and Labeling” Review of Policy Research 30: 512-548.

39)  Korslund, K., Stephenson, S., Victor, A., Laird, A.,and J. Kuzma.  (2013) Consumer Knowledge of Genetically Engineered Organisms (GEOs).  Journal of Science Policy and Governance  3(1): 1-39.

40)  Kuzma, J. (2013).  “Envisioning Future Governance of the Bioeconomy”  The Environmental Forum 30(3): 49.  (edited)

41)  Kuzma, J. Should Citizens Have a Say About Emerging Technologies?  (2013) Scholar’s Strategy Network, Policy Brief.  Available at  (peer-reviewed & edited)


see CV


see CV


  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Colorado-Boulder, 1995