The School of Neuroscience is proud to announce that Hannah Bailey has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Medallion Award for the College of Science. Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective honor society, awards a Medallion to the student with the highest academic standing in each College. Hannah is a Fall 2020 graduate with a double major in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology. Hannah’s interest in science started with intrigue about human behavior which led to a natural interest in studying psychology. That curiosity deepened and evolved into an interest in understanding what was happening in the brain and why, which led to neuroscience. 

Hannah has been actively involved in research during her time at Virginia Tech. In 2019 she was a research intern in the NIMML Institute. She followed that experience by joining the lab of Dr. Chris Thompson, a developmental neurotoxicologist in the School of Neuroscience. Over the last year and a half, Hannah has been leading a project investigating how specific proteins associated with thyroid hormone are disrupted by exposure to lead, and how these disruptions affect brain development. This past summer, Hannah was offered a competitive internship at Novartis where she would have researched neurodegenerative diseases using stem cell modeling. Although that internship was ultimately cancelled due to the pandemic, Hannah remained active in the scientific community by working as an intern for GeneDx COVID-19 laboratory in Gaithersburg, MD. She also participated in a series of workshops and lectures in the National Institutes of Health Summer Enrichment Program. 

Hannah is currently applying to PhD programs up and down the east coast and plans to pursue research in an industry setting once she earns her PhD. Hannah’s ultimate goal is to help people, and researching treatments related to neurological diseases is her way of going just that. Continuing with her mission of helping others, she has worked on the Big Event during the entirety of her undergraduate career. She has also served as Treasurer of the Virginia Tech Design for America Club, a student-led organization that creates social change through human-centered design projects. In addition, she has been a Team Captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Hannah was selected to serve on the Dean’s Leadership Council for College of Science. Hannah’s love of learning, strong work ethic, and resilience have helped her achieve academic excellence and will  serve her well in a career in science. She admires the strides made by female scientists and looks forward to continuing to bring diversity and innovation to the field. We are proud of Hannah’s accomplishments and this well deserved recognition. Congratulations!

Written by Kristin F. Phillips