Congratulations to Howard University Honor Student, Rukia Henry, on winning an ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ at the 2017 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), which was recently held in Phoenix, Arizona.
A native of the town of Linden, Guyana and former Mackenzie High School student, Rukia has goals of becoming a Neurovirologist. Having experienced a long history of breast cancer in her immediate family, and administering daily care, Rukia is determined to continue the fight against this terrible disease. Because of her personal dedication to underserved communities, she founded the Community Health Access Missionary Program (CHAMP) and has led a team of health professionals who administered health screening and care to communities in Guyana with no immediate access to healthcare.
In 2016, Rukia was accepted into the Atlantis Project Fellowship, a challenging medical shadowing program which accepts only about 10% of applicants. Successful candidates for the Atlantis Fellowship are able to witness the practice of medicine first-hand in a global setting, giving them a competitive edge in graduate school applications, domestic health related internships, and a broadened perspective on the medical vocation in general. During of Summer of 2016, she traveled to Zaragoza Spain and spent 3 weeks at Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet where she shadowed in the Radiation Oncology Department.
The Atlantis Project allowed Rukia to expand her horizons in all aspects– culturally, medically, linguistically, intellectually, and inter-personally. During her visit she observed breast cancer consultations, lung and brain cancer consultations, a breast tumor removal surgery and intra-operative radiation treatment. Because of this exposure, Rukia learned many medical terminologies and treatment options for different types of cancer.
Rukia is having a great year academically and with her research. During the Summer of 2017, she spent 9 weeks at Princeton University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program conducting noteworthy research in the Department of Molecular Biology, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. She developed a model to study herpes virus infections in the brain.
In a post on her facebook page, Rukia share the following.
“This experience has been nothing short of extraordinary, especially working in the same environment as noble laureates. Most remarkable were the connections I was able to make, as Princeton will continue to support my research endeavors when I leave and return to Howard for my senior year.”
In October, 2017 Rukia also spent a weekend attending the 18th Annual Minority Access National Conference at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in DC, where she had the opportunity of giving an oral presentation on her herpesvirus research. She was elated to be awarded 1st place in the Biological Sciences Category.