OpenBiome Welcomes Joanne Kamens, PhD to Board of Directors

Press Release


CAMBRIDGE, MA—OpenBiome is pleased to announce the appointment of Joanne Kamens, PhD to the pioneering biobank’s Board of Directors, effective January 9th, 2023.  

“Joanne brings unique expertise in biobanking operations, inclusive science, and business development,” said Julie Barrett O’Brien, OpenBiome’s Chief Executive Officer. “Her experience and insight will be invaluable as OpenBiome expands its mission to catalyze microbiome research on a global scale. ”

Dr. Kamens has previously served as the Executive Director of Addgene, a global nonprofit biorepository that facilitates sharing of research materials. Under her tenure, from 2011 to 2021, Addgene grew from a 20-person company to a 100-person company and distributed over 1 million research samples. Dr. Kamens is also a longtime advocate for more inclusive and diverse scientific communities. In 2004, she founded the Massachusetts Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and currently partners with organizations to create inclusive and equitable workspaces.  

“It’s incredible to be joining OpenBiome at such an exciting time of growth for the organization and microbiome science overall,” said Dr. Kamens. “Microbiome research has the potential to address some of the greatest global health challenges but many scientists simply cannot obtain the research materials they need. Filling this gap by providing equitable access to OpenBiome’s globally representative biobank is a critical step to accelerating breakthrough discoveries.” 





About Joanne Kamens, PhD
Joanne Kamens has advanced the leading edge of science in the academic, pharmaceutical, and nonprofit world. She earned her PhD in Genetics from Harvard University where she studied the genetic drivers of cancer. After her completing her thesis work, Dr. Kamens spent nearly twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry as a group leader and Senior Director of Research Collaborations at Abbott Bioresearch Center and RXi Pharmaceuticals Discovery respectively. She then became the Executive Director of Addgene, overseeing its expansion into a leading international research biorepository. Dr. Kamens is a nationally recognized advocate for inclusive and equitable workplace culture as well as health equity through open access to research reagents and resources. Under her leadership, Addgene was named a #1 Place to Work in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. She now serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant for a variety of organizations in the arts, social sciences, and financial sectors.  

About OpenBiome  
OpenBiomeaccelerates bold discoveries in microbiome science to improve health for all. An independent nonprofit, we catalyze cutting edge research, advance treatment, and expand scientific capacity to unlock the full potential of the human microbiome. 

Since our founding at MIT in 2012, we have provided investigational FMT treatments to more than 65,000 patients with recurrentC. difficileinfections and supported over 40 studies investigating how the microbiome affects human health. Through OpenBiome’snew flagship program, the Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC), we are building and sharing the world’s most globally representative collection of microbiome samples and strains to fill critical gaps in microbiome science.  


Note: This press release was updated on August 7, 2023

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