Dr. Nornes graduated from Concordia College with a degree in biology. He obtained a doctorate in neuroscience from Purdue University and did postdoctoral research at the University of Lund, Sweden, and the Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany.
He is professor emeritus of neuroscience at Colorado State University and continues to teach courses in neuroplasticity of the adult brain in their continuing education program. His major research interest was the development and regeneration of the nervous system, work that promotes healing and recovery of the function of the spinal cord and brain. Through the years, he has been involved in community programs to promote peace and social justice.
The Nornes Lectureship in Neuroscience was created through generous gifts from the families of Dr. Howard and Sonia Nornes; and LaVern '54 and Lois Nornes '56.