Berkeley Public Health PhD Student Awarded 2020 Weigel Medical School Scholarship

UC Berkeley School of Public Health Environmental Health Sciences student Iemaan Rana is the recipient of a $26,000 2020 Gunther and Lee Weigel Medical School Scholarship issued by the Elks National Foundation. Rana is concurrently enrolled in the MD program at the University of Illinois and the PhD program at Berkeley Public Health, where she is a Rosalie M. Stern fellow.

Rana, who started her MD and PhD programs this fall but who received her MPH degree from Berkeley Public Health in 2020, studies the effects of ubiquitous environmental pollutants (UEPs) such as formaldehyde, benzene, and glyphosate on cancer and other chronic diseases. UEPs contribute significantly to global disease burden, healthcare expenses, losses in workforce productivity, and represent a significant cost to national economies. Her ultimate goal is to understand how UEPs can mediate chronic disease, and how we can harness that knowledge to initiate policies to protect vulnerable communities.

“I am honored to represent the UC Berkeley community as an Elks National Foundation Weigel Scholar,” says Rana. “My work at Berkeley has allowed me to witness the power of research to amplify the stories of vulnerable people and catalyze health protective policies limiting use of these harmful chemicals.”

“It is my firm conviction that toxicological research and medicine are not conducted in a void; rather it is the stories of the sick patients that compel me to continue studying disease etiology,” she says.