Graduate Profile

students eating cake Chrissa Dwyer at a reception in her honor for successfully defending her PhD dissertation.

Chrissa Dwyer participated in the SURF program in 2006 when she was a Biochemistry major at SUNY Plattsburgh. After earning her bachelor's degree in 2007, Chrissa enrolled in Upstate's College of Graduate Studies.

"The SURF program provided me with an opportunity as an undergraduate to gain first-hand experience working in a top-notch research lab," Chrissa said. "As a SURF student, I was exposed to concepts, methodology and equipment that reached beyond my undergraduate training. I gained valuable perspective into what it would be like to be a graduate student and pursue a career in biomedical research."

Chrissa earned her PhD in Neuroscience in 2013, graduating with honors. She landed a post-doctoral research position in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California San Diego.

Chrissa said her experiences as a SURF student were invaluable and a key factor in her decision to pursue and obtain a doctorate degree from SUNY Upstate.

"I think there are inherent qualities that make a person a successful scientist, including a passion for scientific discovery and motivation and drive to make a contribution to the world through science," Chrissa said. "I found incredible excitement in scientific research and original discovery, which fueled my passion to become a scientist."