Freja Ekman : Soros Fellowship
Freja Ekman (’18, Chemical Biology) was born in Erlangen, Germany, to parents from Sweden and Norway. Her family immigrated to San Diego, California when she was five. Freja is currently in her second year of an MD-PhD in genetics at Stanford University. She is interested in developing new genome editing tools for the treatment of hematological diseases and rare genetic diseases. As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, Freja studied chemical biology, with the hope of understanding how to harness basic chemical principles to better characterize the behavior of genetic mutations and engineer new genome editing strategies to target them. She worked in the laboratory of David V. Schaffer to develop new CRISPR-Cas9-based gene therapies to treat neurodegenerative disorders. She also pursued her interest in reducing social barriers for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by organizing social events for people with and without disabilities to help foster friendships.