2022 Tillman Scholar

Gabriella Tyler

Military Spouse
University of Notre Dame
Ph.D. of Biological Sciences

“Growing up with nothing and no one makes you appreciate everything and everyone. Every life you touch is meaningful and your time is worth more than you know.”

Gabriella Tyler is pursuing her dream to contribute to ongoing efforts to increase diversity and inclusion within the academic realm. Gabriella is currently a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame where is investigating the biological relationship between blunt force traumatic brain injuries and the increased occurrence of Parkinson’s Disease. She recognizes that service members are at an increased risk of sustaining such injuries and she hopes that her research will lead to disease treatment rather than symptom management.   

Gabriella is pursuing a doctorate in biological sciences after witnessing the impact that service derived injuries can have to service members and their loved ones. Through her husband’s Marine Corps service she was introduced to a Marine who was a victim of a helicopter attack. Thankfully this Marine survived the accident but he was left with life altering injuries to his head. She watched as he lost his short-term memory and began developing various locomotor deficits all of which occurred before he turned 35. This experience inspired Gabriella’s current research interests.   

Gabriella hopes to make a difference in the lives of her current and future students by drawing from her own adverse life circumstances coupled with inclusive teaching skills. Her life was significantly bettered by caring and compassionate educators so she strives to become one herself. Gabriella hopes to become a principal investigator whose lab environment fosters student’s creativity from all walks of life and backgrounds.

Gabriella tragically passed away in September 2022; Bella’s life was far too short but her tenacity and her creativity and resourcefulness can continue to inspire us.