University: Princeton University
Major: International Affairs and Public Policy
Minors: Global Health, French
Languages: Amharic, French
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Biography: My name is Nathnael Mengistie, and I am a second-year student at Princeton University studying International Affairs and Public Policy with minors in Global Health and French. I am also on the pre-medical track, and I hope to enroll in a MD/MPH program after I graduate.
Growing up in Ethiopia, one image I could never erase from my mind was that of a famished mother holding her dying son during the 1984 Ethiopian famine. Although scenes like this one are rare in Ethiopia today due to the country’s astounding economic growth, the threat of food insecurity still persists mostly because of a lack of medical infrastructure and climate change. Furthermore, the increasing threat of infectious diseases and the lack of affordable healthcare in many developing countries have influenced me to partner with different governments, NGOs, and biomedical research institutions and come up with innovative solutions to tackle these global health challenges.
I am committed to fighting for health equity whether it’s by working in a research laboratory or a governmental institution that focuses on healthcare policy. In fact, I am currently at the University of Virginia Medical School researching the impact of CRISPR gene editing on HIV treatment and prevention. On the other hand, I have also conducted extensive independent research on America’s anti-trafficking policy on the health and well-being of trafficking victims in the US, which I have presented at the Mary W. George Research Conference. As a future physician leader, I not only aspire to provide quality healthcare but also reduce healthcare disparities. I specifically want to develop Africa’s pharmaceutical industry because a lack of quality and affordable drugs, vaccines, and health services kill millions of Africans each year.
I am a person with big dreams and aspirations, and I will work tirelessly to achieve them.