Congratulations to Christine Faunce, a senior pursuing a dual degree in experimental neuroscience and medicinal chemistry, both in the Virginia Tech College of Science, has been named as the third Virginia Tech student to win the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award.

Faunce is among 56 university students in the 2020 Astronaut Scholar Class, with each student winning a $15,000 scholarship. The nonprofit foundation was founded by members of the famed Mercury 7 NASA team and honors the brightest and most talented college juniors and seniors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

After graduating in May 2021, Faunce will apply to doctoral programs where she can combine her “passions for neuroscience and chemistry and continue pursing research studying neuropsychiatric disease mechanisms.”

Faunce is planning for a career in neuropharmacology and chemical biology to study the causes of psychiatric illnesses, and help provide novel, safe, and more effective therapeutics for them. Her inspiration for neurobiology research came from the sudden passing of her first research mentor, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology’s Center for Applied Behavior Systems, headed by Alumni Distinguished Professor Scott Geller. Faunce previously has said her mentor was “the first person who unconditionally supported me and my ambitions.”

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