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Student Highlights: Grace Khaner (NHS ‘22)

Grace Khaner is a junior in the NHS majoring in Global Health and double minoring in philosophy and bioethics on the pre-med track.

Experience:

Grace fell in love with science in her high school chemistry class, where her school advisor told her to look into research to delve into the STEM field. Living in NYC, she started to email professors and doctors into joining their research, and thankfully she got a summer intern position at the Milstein Chemistry Core Facility at Weill Cornell Medical College under Dr. J. David Warren. During that summer she worked on synthesis of a precursor to a drug for prostate cancer and did biodistribution studies with other researchers. She got to learn about the pharmaceutical development process that inspired her to pursue Global Health as her current major. Once at Georgetown, she realized that she loved learning epidemiology and population health and its relation to health disparities, and so she looked for related research positions. During her sophomore year, she applied to and got accepted to work as an Oral Health Scholar under Dr. Lucile Adams-Campbell and Dr. Chiranjeev Dash at the Lombardi Cancer Center's Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research, where she currently works at.

Her research for the last year has mostly been focused on writing literature reviews / systematic reviews about oral health disparities. In 2020, she wrote a review on emergency department utilization for non-traumatic dental disease and on the predictors on the ED for oral health care. As of right now she is writing another review on how periodontal disease affects systemic disease outcomes and looking at the relationships between different diseases and oral health complications.

Reflection:

Her research experience has been the driving force towards why she wants to go into the medicinal field. She has been fortunate enough to dive into all sorts of branches in science research, from biosynthesis to epidemiology. Grace has built so many skills that she deems to be helpful to her such as the intense inquiry and problem-solving that is integral to research. She has learned through all of her research the degree to which she wants to be an informed physician who is committed to reducing health disparities wherever she works.

Written by Anndy Serrano-Marcilo