Julia Ramos

Julia Ramos graduated as a double major in Women's and Gender Studies and Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, Julia is in her third year at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. As a future academic physician, she will dedicate her career to achieving tangible improvements in the health and quality of life for those facing poverty, stigma and discrimination. Through the Kean Fellowship, Julia will continue her work in pediatric infectious diseases in Moshi, Tanzania, where she has conducted research over the past academic year. Her research, under the supervision of Dr. Dorothy Dow, is a mixed methods study that -aims to determine how best to support youth who are with HIV as they transition from an adolescent HIV clinic to adult HIV care.

Project: "Understanding Barriers and Successes in Transition of Adolescent to Adult HIV Care in Tanzania"     
August 28, 2017 - October 23, 2017


What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity through the Kean Fellowship, which will allow me to continue to contribute to a project that I am excited and passionate about. This Fellowship will allow me to return to Tanzania, a place that has been my home during the last year, in order to finish a project that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents living with HIV, to further develop my skills in conducting research, and to improve my Swahili language fluency. Over the past year, I have been exposed to the field of tropical medicine and the practical niche it provides healthcare providers and researchers to reach out to folks living in more vulnerable conditions of poverty and illness around the globe. I am thankful to the Benjamin H. Kean Fellowship for its invitation and support for students like me to learn more about the potential for a positive impact within this field.

What do you anticipate learning?
I look forward to continue working with and learning from our team of Tanzanian, Kenyan and North American citizens. I hope to learn more about the nuances within data collection, the basic principles of qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and how to create a manuscript that is true to the words of participants and meaningful to the greater scientific community.

What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
Although health disparity and inequity exists anywhere in the world, tropical medicine offers support and inquiry aimed at tackling the high levels of morbidity and mortality that plague nations historically oppressed by colonialism and neocolonialism. As a future academic physician, I plan to dedicate my career to social justice and health equity. Whether it is supporting youth living with HIV, developing innovative ways for island communities to access safe water or empowering families to engage with their health care system, tropical medicine offers many ways to begin to address the very tangible consequences of sociopolitical and economic injustice.