Lydia Hager, Class of 2021

Lydia Hager grew up in Hamlin, West Virginia. Her appreciation for science began in her senior year of high school during an AP Biology class. She attended Marshall University where she began working in a lab researching Parkinson’s Disease and that is where she fell in love with biomedical research.

Lydia came to the University of Kentucky for graduate school and at her interview knew UK was where she could feel an atmosphere of welcome and hospitality. She was convinced by the students that UK would be her home. The graduate students made her feel welcome and she has been doing her research here ever since. She is currently involved in researching high level spinal cord injuries can interrupt the neural pathways that control breathing. “In Dr. Alilain’s lab, we investigate ways to restore breathing function following such injuries. For my project, I’m looking at how different versions of a gene called ApoE could influence breathing recovery.”

Lydia is involved outside the lab as well, enjoying scientific outreach programs, including Girls in Engineering , Math and Science Conference, Expanding Your Horizons Conference and the BioBonaza.

When she is not in the lab, Lydia tries to spend as much time outdoors as possible. You can catch her riding her bike around Lexington, reading her book in a hammock or rock climbing at Red River Gorge.