Ignacio Cerdena

Ignacio Cerdena

Originally from Arequipa, Peru, Ignacio returned to his home country this summer to study tuberculosis (TB) interventions in Lurigancho, the largest prison in South America. At Lurigancho, Ignacio directed a quality assessment of a health promoter program designed to improve TB treatment adherence.

At home in New Haven, Ignacio is currently a second-year medical student at Yale School of Medicine. He graduated in 2012 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Public Health. After graduation, he spend two years conducting clinical drug abuse research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program (NIDA-IRP) in Baltimore, MD.

Apart from research and academics, Ignacio has dedicated his time toward supporting immigrant communities through education and health programs. As an undergraduate, he led the Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI), a mentorship program committed to supporting college-bound Latino students in North Carolina. Since coming to Yale, Ignacio has continued his work with the Latino community of New Haven as a facilitator for the Behavioral Health Program, a free, psychoeducation service offered to patients with depressive symptoms at Yale’s student-run HAVEN Clinic.

In his medical career, Ignacio hopes to merge his interests in immigrant health, public health, and clinical medicine as a physician-scientists with research projects in both the US and Latin America.

Project: "Developing a community health worker TB screening intervention and testing its effectiveness in a Latin American prison: a quasi-experimental trial"
April 14, 2016 - May 25, 2016


What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
The Kean Fellowship was a pivotal source of financial support in helping me complete my research projects this summer. The travel and living stipends made an international project feasible and allowed me to conduct my thesis research. 

What do you anticipate learning? 
With the hopes of leading a transnational clinical and research career in both the US and Peru, my Kean-supported research was my first in-depth professional experience abroad. This experience reaffirmed my desire and ability to continue working abroad and helped me develop a professional network that will be invaluable in the future. 

What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
My interest in tropical medicine is tied to the fact that tropical diseases afflicts the developing world disproportionality. My motivations behind a career in medicine are largely rooted in working with the underserved, and tropical medicine is a natural path given this core desire. While my summer research focused on tuberculosis in prisons, I am generally interested in all disease that more seriously afflict marginalized populations. In particular, I hope to use innovative approaches to increase access and quality of care to these disadvantaged populations.