Following his graduation from NIU, Professor Jorgenson obtained his doctoral degree at Indiana University and immediately took an assistant professorship at the University of North Carolina in 1979. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a full professor in 1987. He was appointed the Francis P. Venable Professor of Chemistry in 1994 and has been the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemistry from 1999 to present. He served as the Chemistry Department Chair from 2000 to 2005.
In his career, Jorgenson has published more than 170 manuscripts and supervised the research of more than 60 doctoral students. He served as an Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry and has been on the editorial board of seven other journals.
Jorgenson is widely recognized as one of the originators of capillary electrophoresis, a technique which has changed the face of the analytical chemistry of complex biological systems. For his accomplishments, he has won numerous awards. Among the most prestigious honors are: American Chemical Society Awards in Chemical Instrumentation (1992), Chromatography (1993) and Analytical Chemistry (2007); the Torben Bergman Medal of the Swedish Chemical Society (1996); and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007).