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LaVerne L. Brown, Ph.D. - AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow

LaVerne L. Brown, Ph.D., joined ODS in August 2016 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow. Prior to joining ODS, Dr. Brown held several positions in academia including Associate Director of the Biological Chemistry Lab at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Center for Chinese Herbal Therapy for Allergy and Asthma. She has also served as an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Honors Program at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). 

Dr. Brown works to empower decision-making by health care professionals and consumers, and to promote diversity in the biomedical workforce. Upon receiving the UVI Center for Excellence Award, Dr. Brown founded the UVI Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The primary goal of the center is to promote open, two-way communication between health care providers and residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands who reported regular use of botanicals and other ingredients found in dietary supplements.  Her work at the center included several outreach initiatives, research programs, and surveys.

Dr. Brown received her B.S. degree in chemistry from Old Dominion University, her Ph.D. in organic/ natural products chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University, and post-doctoral training in the area of medicinal chemistry at the National Institute on Drug Abuse at NIH. Her research interests have included the isolation and chemical characterization of active molecules from natural products, and the design and synthesis of novel small molecules to better understand the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in neurological disorders. She is currently a member of Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society.