Virginia Tech translational biology, medicine, and health (TBMH) graduate student Ubadah Sabbagh was awarded the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Ben Barres Fellowship.

Sabbagh received this recognition recently during Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Vision Course. This elite two-week summit brings together students, postdoctoral fellows, and distinguished senior neuroscientists to discuss emerging methods in overcoming diseases that compromise visual function.

“Ubadah continues to bring great honor to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, the TBMH program, and to Virginia Tech,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and vice-president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech. “Early in his career as a neuroscientist, Ubadah has distinguished himself through his research scholarship, educational outreach, service, and collegiality. Although I am very pleased for Ubadah at this latest recognition, I am not surprised that others have seen the same qualities in him that we have observed here in the TBMH program at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute on a daily basis.”

Mentored by Michael Fox, a professor and director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s Center for Neurobiology Research, Sabbagh is working on classifying the cells and molecules present in a relatively unexplored region of the brain’s visual system called the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus.

Ben Barres was a renowned Stanford University neurobiologist whose exceptional research surrounding the role of glial cells revolutionized the field of neuroscience. He was particularly known for his dedication to training the next generation of scientists and for being a champion for basic science research.