Graduate student becomes UAB’s fifth student to receive grant

Graduate student Rylie Hightower is the fifth UAB student to receive an F99/K00 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Written by: Brianna Hoge
Media contact: Savannah Koplon

University of Alabama at BirminghamHightower Headshot pic graduate student Rylie Hightower has been awarded an F99/K00 grant from the National Institutes of Health, becoming the fifth student from UAB to be named a recipient.

The five-year grant will fund Hightower’s research in uncovering a key signaling pathway for Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients. The disease affects one in every 5,000 males, and currently has no cure.

Hightower is a neuroscience graduate student in the laboratory of Matthew Alexander, Ph.D., in the Department of Pediatrics. She is also a member of the UAB Neuroscience RoadMap Scholars Program, which provides the necessary tools that will enhance engagement and retention of underrepresented graduate trainees in the neuroscience workforce. 

“I’m honored to be among the small number of hardworking doctoral students who have achieved this distinction at UAB,” Hightower said. “This grant not only gives me the ability to successfully complete my doctoral studies but provides an incredible community to lean on as a postdoctoral fellow.”