For Immediate Release: February 23, 2017
Contact: Julie Palakovich Carr

Penn State Graduate Student Recognized

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) has selected the winner of the 2017 AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award. Stephanie Bora is a Ph.D. candidate in immunology and infectious disease at Pennsylvania State University.

“AIBS is proud to recognize Ms. Bora’s notable accomplishments in science policy at her university and nationally,” said AIBS President Dr. Joseph Travis.

Bora organized the 2016 congressional visits day for the National Science Policy Group, a network of student science policy organizations from across the country. More than 50 students from 16 colleges participated in the event. Bora also serves as Director of Members for the organization and was previously the northeast regional Co-director. She founded the Science Policy Society at Penn State in 2014 and subsequently served as president and treasurer of the group. Her doctoral research investigates how bacteria that live in the human gut facilitate use of vitamin D—work that has implications for treatment of certain diseases. Bora has a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin.

“Federal investment in science is just that: an investment,” said Bora. “I personally know a handful of researchers at my university who have started companies based on their research, or generated patents and developed products. Stable investment in basic research in our country leads to better health, new technology, and is crucial to our continued position as an economic leader in the world.”

“Stephanie joins a distinguished group of Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award winners who have demonstrated great promise in science policy,” said AIBS Co-Executive Director Dr. Robert Gropp. “I am confident that Stephanie’s participation in Congressional Visits Day will help her become a life-long advocate for science.”

Since 2003, AIBS has recognized the achievements of biology graduate students who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude for making contributions to science and science policy. AIBS will sponsor Bora’s travel to Washington, DC, in April to participate in a congressional visits program co-organized by AIBS. This event includes a day of training on how to effectively communicate with policymakers and a briefing on the federal budget for scientific research. Bora will meet with her congressional delegation. In addition, she will receive a one-year membership in AIBS, which includes a subscription to the scientific journal BioScience.

AIBS is also recognizing two additional outstanding leaders with an Honorable Mention award. Kathleen Lyons is working towards a Ph.D. in ecology, evolution, and behavior at the University of Texas at Austin. Ellen Wann is a Ph.D. candidate in neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, Irvine.

For more information about the Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award, including past recipients, visit
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