Professor Brown grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and after graduating high school moved to central New York to pursue an undergraduate degree at Hamilton College. Here Professor Brown became interested in organic chemistry by working in the labs of Ian Rosenstein. Upon graduation, Professor Brown moved to Boston College and received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Professor Amir Hoveyda in 2008. After completion of his graduate studies he began a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Institutes of Health funded postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratories of Nobel laureate E. J. Corey at Harvard University. In 2011, Professor Brown joined the faculty at Indiana University.