Fellowship Recipient, University of Washington Department of Global Health

Nolawit leaning back and looking up at the snowfall.

What inspired you to pursue a graduate degree in global health?  

Originally, I am from Ethiopia, Addis Ababa but moved to MIT in Cambridge, MA for my undergraduate education and have been in the U.S. since. I like to think of myself as aiming to understand the systems that govern life, which led me in undergrad to Biological Engineering but also to my African and African Diaspora studies concentration. Although my background lies in cancer research, moving forward I see myself working in infectious diseases of global health relevance. In addition to working in science, I love opportunities to mentor and support young scientists and engineers, especially from historically excluded populations. 

Why did you decide to attend the UW for graduate school?  

I decided to attend the University of Washington for graduate school because of its unique Pathobiology program which was a way to merge my interests in biological hypothesis driven lab research with a public health education. I was also drawn to the global scale of collaborations the UW has and how it influences the work that is done here as well as the diverse perspectives and backgrounds represented in the cohorts of the department of global health. 

What are your research interests? 

My research interests are broad but I love to think about the host factors influencing disease immunity especially in the context of maternal and fetal health. Thinking about global research equity as well is something I hope to incorporate more into my research work. 

What are you enjoying most about your graduate program? 

I love my current cohort and the varied perspectives we bring! You spend a lot of time in the first couple of years in classes and it is great that I have a solid group of people I can laugh with, cry with and learn from! As an Ethiopian, I am also appreciating the big diaspora community here and the great food as well as being closer to my extended family.