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UCI School of Medicine Recognizes Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month: Ghalia Azouz

Posted: 2024-04-25

Source: UCI School of Medicine
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In our present moment, new histories are being written through the passionate and innovative care that our colleagues bring to work everyday. It is our honor and privilege to work alongside these men and women and countless others throughout our school – true champions of diversity, equity and inclusion who are leaving an indelible mark on the future of our campus and their respective fields of medicine.

Ghalia Azouz, research technician in the Beier Laboratory, began college at age 16, dedicating much of her extracurricular time to mentorship, all the while developing an outstanding research and academic record. The daughter of Tunisian Muslim immigrants, Ms. Azouz describes the significance of her community as an extended family. 

​“Despite growing up with xenophobia and unjust labels thrown towards me and my family, the MENA community offered motivation to prove them wrong peacefully and with grace, as when one part of the community celebrates or hurts, the rest of the community feels it. As such, this deeply impacted how I navigate growth in my personal identity and professional life."

Ms. Azouz obtained her Bachelor of Science with Honors in neurobiology from UC Irvine in 2022. During her time as an undergraduate, she served as a peer tutor for Genetics, Biochemistry, and Human Physiology. In her senior year, she obtained her first position in the Beier Laboratory, which led to her research paper, “Behavioral Phenotyping of a Huntington's Disease Mouse Model,” which was published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Biological SciencesMs. Azouz remained with the Beier Laboratory post-graduation as a Research Technician, and she continues to mentor undergraduate students through the lab’s Bio 199 course.

“I hope to demonstrate to fellow first-generation students that the path to medicine is not only a dream but a possibility.” She currently manages multiple projects related to neurodegeneration, substance abuse and psychiatric illnesses. She is also a co-author on two manuscripts currently under peer review. In the future, she aspires to pursue an MD/PhD combined degree.

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