Doctoral Alumna Selected for SUNY Chancellor Distinguished Ph.D. Graduate Dissertation Award

By Katya Hrichak

Nora BrownNora Brown, Ph.D. ’23, has been selected as a finalist for the SUNY Chancellor Distinguished Ph.D. Graduate Dissertation Award.

Created to recognize outstanding doctoral candidates in the SUNY system, the awards were granted to one first place winner, four finalists, and three honorable mentions.

Brown, who received her doctorate in genetics, genomics, and development, was selected for her dissertation, titled, “Function and evolution of seminal fluid components in Drosophila.”

“My thesis work was focused on understanding the function and evolution of a major class of male reproductive proteins called seminal fluid proteins, which are important for fertility in many species, including humans,” said Brown. “Understanding the functions of insect reproductive proteins can lead to better approaches for controlling human disease vectors like mosquitos, and can even provide insight into human infertility.”

Finalists were awarded $1,000 to support engagement in professional development opportunities. With the funds, Brown hopes to attend a conference where she can make connections with other researchers in her field or take courses to develop new skills.

“I’m very grateful and honored to have been selected as a finalist for this award among all of the amazing researchers in the SUNY community,” said Brown. “This recognition means a lot, as I think a lot of fundamental biology can be better understood, or even discovered, through an evolutionary lens.”

The State University of New York’s doctoral-granting campuses eligible for this award include University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, Downstate Health Sciences University, SUNY ESF, SUNY College of Optometry, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Stony Brook University, and Upstate Medical, as well as statutory campuses within Alfred University and Cornell University.