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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Christopher A. Learn

By Tatum Hoffer, University Relations intern

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 27 - April 6, 1995

The voice on the answering machine sounds like many typical, friendly, college-aged men. But for Christopher Ashby Learn, his college experience has been extraordinarily atypical of a college student.

When Learn was a freshman at William & Mary, his father died of cancer. In a re-evaluation of his college goals, Learn moved home for financial reasons and to take care of his mother and their home in Radford. After finishing up his freshman year, he transferred to Virginia Tech his sophomore year on a mission to learn everything possible about cancer and its evils. His father's death reinforced his desire to pursue a medical degree.

Learn will graduate in May as the College of Arts and Sciences' Outstanding Senior of 1995. His college career boasts many other achivements, like a 3.99 QCA and a major in biology.

The desire to defeat cancer has inspired him to work hard. "If I could make a difference to alleviate somebody else's pain and suffering, I'd be satisfied," Learn said.

Driven by his interest in immunology and microbiology, Learn has done studies on tumor-suppressing research compounds that have been presented in two research papers at state-wide professional meetings. He also received the Daniel Stetler Memorial Scholarship given by the biology department as well as a Sigma Xi grant for his research activities.

Learn will study immunology at Bowman Gray Medical School, Wake Forest University. Of all the other students in his first-year class at Wake Forest, he was the student that the university recommended to apply for a prestigious $15,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Learn was also elected to Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi, and Golden Key. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior.

Learn devotes himself to many service organizations on campus. He is an officer of Mortar Board, a student representative to the Student Service Legal Counsel, a Youth Project Leader for the YMCA, service chairman of the German Club, and a Gransharing Program Leader at Heritage Hall.