Azeeza Sarour is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing a major in Health and Societies with a concentration in Global Health and a minor in Chemistry. After her time at Penn, Azeeza intends to pursue a graduate degree before matriculating to medical school. Before moving to Tampa, Florida, Azeeza was born and raised in Sudan. Through her interactions with the healthcare system in the third world, she has become increasingly aware of the healthcare inequity gaps that exist across the world––starting with that of the United States and landing in East Africa. Azeeza’s academic interests include disparities as they relate to health outcomes and treatment, medical anthropology and ethics, and the intersection of health and politics with regard to developing East African health systems.
During SUMR, Azeeza worked on 2 research projects, both within the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). In her first partnership with Dr. Lisa Scwartz, Azeeza was exposed to interdisciplinary and NIH-funded research projects in the Section of Behavioral Oncology housed within the Center for Childhood Cancer Research. Her work with Dr. Schwartz focused on adolescents and young adults (AYA) with or who survived cancer, and/or have a genetic predisposition for cancer. Through an intervention study, they aimed to reduce health disparities to re-engage AYA survivors who have not returned to long-term cancer-related follow-up care, representing a complex stepped trial that addresses the social determinants of health. For her second project, Azeeza was part of a research project focused on addressing racial disparities in the treatment and outcomes of children living with type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) diabetes. This project, led by Dr. Steve Willi, Dr. Colin Hawkes, Dr. Terri Lipman, and Yolanda Williams at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Diabetes Center for Children (DCC), aimed to define, improve understanding, and develop a monitoring infrastructure to track racial disparities in diabetes care at CHOP.
Azeeza’s involvement in the Penn community is centered around service. She consistently volunteers in the West Philadelphia community and clinics, is the academic chair of the ‘Minority Association for Pre-Med Students ‘(MAPS), is a ‘FERBS’ fellow, a Medical Scribe through ‘ScribeAmerica,’ and a TA for Chemistry at Penn. Outside of her involvement as an academic, Azeeza enjoys engaging in various wellness activities including yoga and meditation, as well as connecting with friends through conversation, art, and music.