Nine-year-old Marie LaConte was lauded for outstanding participation and attendance at the Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lectures at the final event of the season at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.

The daughter of Virginia Tech faculty members Leslie LaConte and Stephen LaConte, Marie is a fourth grader at Highland Park Elementary School. The award was presented by Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Virginia Tech vice president for health sciences and technology.

The presentation was followed by the final Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture of the season by Paula Hammond, an engineering professor and the head of the department of chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

One of only 25 people in history elected to all three national scientific academies, Hammond talked about the potential for using nanomaterials for drug delivery against cancer and other ailments.