Meet Jennifer Brannan

Problem-solver.  Parent.  Passionate progressive.

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Jennifer Brannan is a Senior Research Scientist working to uncover the secrets of some of the world’s deadliest viruses. She has also studied lung cancer at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and worked as a research assistant developing tests for foodborne pathogens at a small biotech company. Jennifer and her husband Kevin, also a scientist, moved to Frederick in 2011 to raise their family. They have two children:  their son, Finn is a first grader at their local public school, and their daughter, Grace will join him there in the fall.

Jennifer’s story is the story of the American dream. A first generation American, she is the child of Scottish parents who made the decision to raise their three daughters in America, far from home and the familiar, because they wanted their children to have the chance to live the American dream. Growing up in a working class family, Jennifer understood the value of an honest day’s work, as well as the struggles working families face. On her path to becoming a scientist, she has worked in restaurants, offices and warehouses, she’s delivered newspapers, pizzas and phone books, and even worked in a bingo hall.

After a gap year in Scotland following high school, Jennifer went to community college before transferring to Cornell College, where she majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with a minor in English Literature. Following graduation, she worked for a small biotech company before attending graduate school at the University of Texas-MD Anderson Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. As President of the Graduate Student Association, she led the student body in  community service and civic engagement, holding several voter registration drives while in Houston. She also represented her campus to the UT System Student Advisory Council, advocating for graduate student health care, access to higher education and affordable tuition. Today, Jennifer is a member of the board of the Women’s Democratic League of Frederick, and has worked to elect local democrats in the recent city election.

Through hard work and sacrifice, Jennifer’s parents were able to live the American dream of giving their children a life better than the one they had. That dream is slipping away for many Marylanders who, despite working, cannot afford childcare, let alone save for their children’s education. Jennifer believes that we must act now to provide working families their chance to live the American dream, with paid family leave, a living wage, and health care for all. She will work to improve education, address climate change and prevent gun violence. Using her scientific training, Jennifer will work with the citizens of Frederick to move Maryland forward, with 21st century solutions for today’s problems.