Norma Hylton (class of ‘18) has won this year’s John E. Dowling Thesis Prize. This award is given to one undergraduate student each year who has demonstrated exceptional work in the field of neurobiology, in honor of MCB’s Research Professor John E. Dowling.
“John Dowling was known not only for his countless research discoveries in neurobiology, but also for his tireless mentoring of generations of students in the lab,” said Neurobiology Associate Concentration Advisor Laura Magnotti. “I can’t think of anyone who exemplifies the ideal student-scientist that John sought to develop more than Norma.”
According to Magnotti, Norma has put in more lab hours at the Haggarty Lab at MGH than some graduate students, and has produced publication-worthy work. Dowling prize contenders are students who excel at every stage of research, from experiment design to presentation of results, and Norma is no exception.
“She became an expert in the current state of knowledge in a really complex field, she mastered highly technical human stem cell culture procedures and developed novel functional assays, and she produced a beautifully written document at the end,” said Magnotti. “In general, the committee looks for the student who wrote a flawless thesis that ‘sings off the page,’ and this year, that was Norma.”