Tuberculosis Personal Statement

Decent Essays
When I was 12, my mother underwent a knee replacement. Five years later, my father was diagnosed with leukemia and received chemotherapy. I witnessed first hand my parents’ frustrations in maneuvering the healthcare system because they did not speak English. Not only did I act as their translator in navigating the medical terminology, diagnosis, treatments, and billing but in doing so, it encouraged me to better understand why patients with language barriers, such as my parents, felt disregarded and received substandard care. During my freshman year at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) I put into perspective the lack of educational opportunities in underserved communities and their contributions to health disparities. I have felt that it is my calling to address the lack of access to education, health care and…show more content…
Tuberculosis (TB) continues to affect one third of the world population, primarily impacting those who are poor and lack healthcare. Although vitamin D is important for antimicrobial immune response to TB, ethnic minorities in the U.S, who have darker-pigmented skin, receive minimal sun exposure leading to lower vitamin D serum levels. The lack of sufficient vitamin D exacerbates the risk for active TB in these already at-risk populations. In our Science Translation paper, it was determined that interleukin-32 (IL-32), a biomarker higher in latent TB, was successful in killing virulent TB in vitro, however this killing is dependent on sufficient vitamin D serum levels. The identification of a biomarker has paved the way for potential use in diagnosis and adjunct treatment with IL-32 and vitamin D. My experience serves as a reminder that inequities in health make marginalized people more vulnerable. As one invested in improving the health of our community, I recognize I must think critically and understand how scientific developments continue to affect
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