Doctoral student named Society for Neuroscience Policy ambassador
March 4, 2020
Ubadah Sabbagh, a doctoral candidate in Virginia Tech’s translational biology, medicine, and health program who conducts research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, has been selected as one of 10 members of the Society for Neuroscience to participate in the Society’s annual Capitol Hill Day on Thursday.
Advocating in front of the Congress is nothing new for Sabbagh, who has visited Washington, D.C., on three previous occasions to explain the value of scientific research and advocate for investments in research funding.
But Thursday marks the first time he will do so as one of Society for Neuroscience’s 10 Early Career Policy Ambassadors, each chosen for their dedication to advocating for the scientific community, their desire to learn more about effective means of advocacy, and their experience as leaders in their labs and community.
“With my colleagues, I will thank members of Congress for their support of biomedical research, and advocate for continued investments as they craft the federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year,” Sabbagh said. “I will talk about advances in the field of neuroscience, the economic and public health benefits to the taxpayer of investment in biomedical research, but I also love sharing how science helps us meet great challenges and inspires us, our neighbors, and communities.”
In addition to his position as an ambassador for the Society for Neuroscience, Sabbagh will for the first time be in his new role as a principal investigator on a federally funded research grant to map an unexplored brain region and study optic nerve regeneration.
Sabbagh is mentored by Michael Fox, a professor of biological sciences at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.
“By meeting face-to-face with young scientists such as Ubadah, lawmakers learn about science and its value to society from the perspective of our next generation of biomedical research leaders,” said Michael Friedlander, the executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and the vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech. “These meetings lay the groundwork for long-term discussions that benefit lawmakers, scientists, and, most of all, citizens throughout the U.S.”
In addition to Virginia Tech, Early Career Policy Ambassadors hail from Midwestern University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Washington University in St. Louis, Utah State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Cincinnati, the University of California-Los Angeles, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.