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Biography of Shelli Farhadian, A Soros Fellow for 2007


Three Iranian-Americans, Shelli Farhadian, K. Cyrus Habib and Keyan Salari are among thirty-one finalists in the tenth annual competition for the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Following is the biography of Shelli Farhadian.


Shelli Farhadian


MS. SHELLI  FARHADIAN is currently in her third year at the Tri-Institutional MD/PHD program with the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Rockefeller University and Sloan Kettering Institute.  MS. FARHADIAN earned a BS in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003, and spent the year after completing her undergraduate degree in India as a Fulbright Scholar conducting research on genetic risk factors for heart disease.


Born in New Jersey, MS. FARHADIAN is 25 years old.  Her parents fled Iran after the Shah's fall, when, as Jewish Iranians, they knew they would no longer be able to acculturate without assimilating into the increasingly constricted, predominately Muslim society.  Her family resides in New York City.


Since beginning her undergraduate career at MIT, MS. FARHADIAN has conducted research on population genetics and disease, working in several different labs at MIT, Oxford, Yale University School of Medicine, and BioTransplant, Inc.. She has co-authored three publications as a result of this research.  Since beginning her graduate program, MS. FARHADIAN has led a student group that educates medical students about reproductive health issues, including access to safe abortions, and that matches medical students with pregnant teens in foster care.  She is also a founding member of the Female Association for Clinicians, Educators, and Scientists (FACES), an organization that fosters professional mentoring of students by female physician-scientists.  It should also be noted that she served as coxswain for the MIT Heavyweight Men's Crew and the Queens College Men's Crew.


MS. FARHADIAN plans to spend her career conducting research on infectious diseases and their cures.  Her objective is to create well-functioning public healthcare systems in places that do not yet have them, and, consequently, where infectious diseases are most prevalent.  Her present doctoral research is on the malaria mosquito vector, trying to explain the female mosquito's chemical attraction to humans.   Ultimately, she hopes to move research of infectious diseases out of the "discovery" phase, and translate it into effective treatments, removing the "disconnect" between clinicians, researchers, and policy makers.


... Payvand News - 2/26/07 ... --

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