A Virginia Tech student on the path to earning both a medical and doctoral degree is the first recipient of the Jeanine L. Matte Fellowship through the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. 

Andrew Strohman joined the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in 2020 after studying biology as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, earning a master’s in public health from Virginia Commonwealth University, and serving as a healthcare data and policy analyst in Washington, D.C. He is now working toward a doctoral degree through the Translational Biology, Medicine and Health program while studying low-intensity focused ultrasound in the lab of assistant professor Wynn Legon of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.

The fellowship will support academic conference travel and research into low-intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU), a non-invasive technique that provides precise access to deeper brain regions in humans and shows potential as a new therapeutic option for potentially modulating the activity of networks of neurons to treat chronic pain and neuropsychiatric diseases.

Strohman’s long-range goal is twofold. First, he hopes to better understand how the brain and body communicate with each other and leverage cutting-edge techniques like LIFU to improve this communication in patients. Second, he wants to build and lead an interdisciplinary team of scientists to achieve that goal. “This team will integrate neuroscience research, clinical expertise, and health policy to develop accessible, affordable interventions for patients while circumventing the need for addictive medications or costly and invasive medical procedures,” he said.

The $10,000 fellowship is made possible thanks to the generosity of Virginia Tech alumna Jeanine L. Matte. The gift prioritizes novel approaches to unsolved questions in neuroscience research, particularly those that accelerate the pace of brain research and its translation to public health applications.

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