Jens Nielsen has an MSc degree in Chemical Engineering and a PhD degree (1989) in Biochemical Engineering from the Danish Technical University (DTU), and after that established his independent research group and was appointed full Professor there in 1998. He was Fulbright visiting professor at MIT in 1995-1996. At DTU he founded and directed Center for Microbial Biotechnology. In 2008 he was recruited as Professor and Director to Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, where he is currently directing a research group of more than 40 people. At Chalmers he established the Area of Advance Life Science Engineering, a cross departmental strategic research initiative and was founding chair of the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, which now encompass more than 180 people. In 2019 he was recruited to become CEO of the BioInnovation Institute in Denmark, which is an independent institute funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation having the objective to catalyze the transformation of top-level science to new innovative solutions that can benefit the society.
Jens Nielsen has published so far more than 700 papers that have been cited more than 60,000 times (current H-factor 113), co-authored more than 40 books and he is inventor of more than 50 patents. He was identified by Thompson Reuter as a highly cited researcher in 2015-2018.
Jens Nielsen founded Fluxome A/S that raised more than M20EUR in venture capital. This company metabolically engineered yeast for production of resveratrol and used this yeast for commercial production of this compound. This process was acquired by the company Evolva. Jens Nielsen has founded several other biotech companies, including Metabogen AB, Elypta AB and Biopetrolia AB, and he has served in the scientific advisory board of a range of different biotech companies in the USA and Europe.
Jens Nielsen has received numerous Danish and international awards including the Villum Kann Rasmussen’s Årslegat, Merck Award for Metabolic Engineering, Amgen Award for Biochemical Engineering, Nature Mentor Award, the Gaden Award, the Norblad-Ekstrand gold medal, the Novozymes Prize, the ENI Award and the Eric and Sheila Samson Prize. He is member of several academies, including the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences in USA, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. He is a founding president of the International Metabolic Engineering Society.