Rachel Clemens has focused her career on supporting leading edge research and development. As a Commercial Innovation Manager at the ISS US National Lab, she leads partnership development with life science companies - finding that every sector, from biotech start-ups to big agriculture, can benefit from research in space. She is eager to entertain even the craziest ideas and is passionate about finding innovative solutions to Earth-bound problems.
As a graduate student at Oregon Health and Science University, Rachel was awarded a Developmental Biology Training grant to support her work on the genetics of deafness. During this time, she also co-founded Portland Women in Science and applied her passion for building networks with regularly scheduled “Happy Hours,” creating a more connected group of professionals.
After earning her PhD, Rachel became a Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center leading research on host-pathogen interactions in a spaceflight cotext. In addition to her research, she supplied documentation to senior leadership that resulted in extension of project support and built new facilities in the lab utilizing and repairing existing equipment. Wanting to leverage her technical background and natural proclivity towards networking and resourcefulness, Rachel moved to a career in business development with the ISS US National Lab.
In addition to working at the National Lab, Rachel is a volunteer Project Manager at the Rare Genomics Institute, which connects rare disease patients around the world, providing tools and support to the greater rare disease community. She believes strongly in science education, and spent a summer tutoring high school girls in Saudi Arabia as part of a collaboration between Saudi Aramco, the University of Dammam and the Center for Excellence in Education (see link to blog below). Rachel is based in San Francisco, CA where she blazes trails on foot, conquers hills by bike, and bravely hosts dinner parties in her microstudio.