Hightower Headshot picFYIFRylie Hightower, BSN, was named one of 10 recipients of the 2021 UAB Samuel B. Barker Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies. This award, named for Dr. Samuel Booth Barker the first graduate dean at UAB, is given each spring to graduate students who represent the highest level of student achievement in the UAB graduate program.

While earning her doctoral degree, Rylie has worked with Matthew Alexander, Ph.D., assistant professor in Pediatric Neurology, in his research lab. She will complete her Ph.D. in Graduate Biomedical Science this Spring.

See below for her plans after graduation and her biggest accomplishment in graduate school.

Plans after graduation: “Directly following graduation, I will be taking a short leave of absence from academia to work as a nurse at the UAB COVID vaccine clinics to help accelerate vaccine distribution in our communities. In the fall, I will join the UAB Precision Medicine Institute as a postdoctoral fellow under the leadership of Dr. Matt Might investigating neurological signs and symptoms in patients with undiagnosed diseases.”

Biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: “Being awarded the NINDS F99/K00 predoc to postdoc career development grant has been one of the accomplishments that I have been most proud of as a graduate student. To see years of work culminated into a single grant proposal that will become the foundation for the rest of my academic career is something that I worked exceptionally hard for. I am proud and grateful to be a part of this amazing community that will help foster my academic growth.”

See the other recipients of the award here.

Congratulations Rylie!