ATHENA Leadership Award Finalist: Norma Nowak, Ph.D.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists who have been selected for the 2017 ATHENA® Awards. We will bring you profiles of each finalist in the weeks ahead, leading up to the awards ceremony luncheon on Thursday, March 30th, 2017 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

So come back often and you’ll learn what it means to be an Athena. And be sure to save the date – March 30 – to attend the awards luncheon.

Interested in attending the ATHENA Luncheon on Thursday, March 30th? Click here to register.

norma-nowakNorma J. Nowak, Ph.D.

Executive Director, University at Buffalo New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Empire Genomics LLC

Norma Nowak is executive director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences at University at Buffalo. She is an acclaimed researcher and a recognized leader in the human genomics field. Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic-based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. Norma is also the founder and chief scientific officer of Empire Genomics, LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine.

 First Job Out of School

Norma was a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Genetics department at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in her first job out of school.

Career Highlights

 Norma’s career started during a time that gave rise to the Human Genome Project and her work directly contributed to this great achievement. She has sought out ways to make sure that her work reached beyond the research laboratory to touch the lives of cancer patients and, as a result, has founded Empire Genomics. She was also awarded the prestigious American Association of Cancer Research Team Science Award.

On Buffalo Niagara

 “I enjoy the enduring sense of family and community in Western New York.”

Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career

Believe in yourself and always make your voice be heard.

 About Being an Athena Finalist

“The list of women honored is both impressive and humbling. I consider being named a finalist such an honor and I am very grateful to be considered. To be recognized as having achieved professional excellence is truly rewarding, and helping support other women in pursuit of their career goals is something I consider both a responsibility and a privilege.”