Anh Tran // medical diagnostics researcher // class of 2009

“Health is a human right,” says Anh Tran (B.S. Neuroscience), and she’s committed to helping secure that right for those who suffer from neglected diseases. Her commitment gained focus with an undergraduate trip to Tanzania, sponsored by Biology without Borders. “That trip gave me a much deeper understanding of life, especially human health and diseases, and led me to pursue my studies in global health and diagnostics research.”

Tran received a Fulbright Scholarship and pursued a M.Phil. in Health and Society from Newcastle University. “My project, on differences in mortality between migrant populations in the Newcastle Upon Tyne region of England, provided me with a better understanding of human diseases,” she says. She then took a position as a Training Research Fellow for the Association of Public Health Laboratories – Centers for Disease Control at the New York State Department of Health. “I developed diagnostic tests for mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacterium respiratory pathogens, and those tests are now implemented in New York State,” she says.

Tran is currently working at Daktari Diagnostics, a medical device start-up company in Cambridge, MA, which develops diagnostic tools for resource-poor markets, including a novel method for monitoring CD4 immune cell levels in patients with HIV/AIDS.

As she looks to the future, Tran says, “I want to combine my knowledge and passion for helping patients with my interest and fascination for diagnostic medical technology to launch my own diagnostics company geared toward neglected diseases, such as tuberculosis.”