Fulbright scholar begins health study

2 September 2010

Aisha Harun
Aisha Harun

Aisha Harun, a medical student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, will spend the next year at the University of Sydney on a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship, carrying out research into the interaction between multiculturalism and health outcomes in Australia.

"I plan on taking courses at the University of Sydney's School of Public Health and participating in a research project at the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe)," she said. "The goal of my project with SOuRCe will be to identify the unmet needs for supportive care for Australian colorectal cancer patients.

"I will help SOuRCe study the possible barriers to including cancer patients from multicultural backgrounds in a clinical trial of supportive care interventions."

Aisha said her participation in the research project with SOuRCe would provide her with a unique opportunity to gain skills in evolving clinical research methodology that she can apply to her future medical practice.

Aisha chose Australia because of its long history of immigration and diversity. She will draw on her own experiences as a Muslim African-American woman, and contrast those with the experiences of other individuals living in a diverse society.

She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Biology (Neurobiology) and has won various awards and grants including the Dean's Distinguished Senior Honors Student Award, the NIH Supplement Grant to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research. She also has extensive experience as a volunteer in health and multicultural activities.

The Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by US Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra.

Aisha is one of 20 American students to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2010. She will be joined at Sydney next February by Marissa Brookes, a political science student from Northwestern University, who will be researching the causes of success and failure of transnational alliances led by Australian trade unions.

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191