Mackenzie Bruzzio

Mackenzie is a second-year medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island, where she is pursuing an MD and MSc in Primary Care and Population Medicine. Her Master's thesis will focus on the diagnosis of fetal malnutrition and its effect on infant growth and development in low- and middle-income countries. Before medical school, Mackenzie volunteered with Partners in Health in Chiapas, Mexico (Compañeros en salud), an international non-profit dedicated to the provision of sustainable healthcare in the poorest areas of developing countries. There, she developed mobile health tools for data collection in the remote Frialesca region of the Sierra Madre mountains. This experience solidified her interest in global health and she looks forward to deepening those interests with the Ben Kean Fellowship. At Brown, Mackenzie enjoys her role on the leadership team for the Clínica Esperanza Women's Clinic, which provides essential gynecological care for an underserved, primarily Spanish-speaking community in Providence, RH. Furthermore, Mackenzie co-leads the Introduction to the Fetal Medicine course, which has expanded her knowledge and interest in the field of fetal diagnosis and treatment. Outside of school, she enjoys being outside, cooking, reading and surfing with friends at the beautiful Rhode Island beaches. 


The Impact of Fetal Malnutrition on Linear Growth and Nutritional Status of Filipino Infants
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine

What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I am incredibly grateful and honored to have received the Kean Fellowship from ASTMH. As I grow my career in global health, this fellowship is an amazing opportunity to learn from established physicians in the field and to foster curiosity about the world, its interconnectedness and global research in a meaningful way. The ability to travel to an established field site and gain firsthand experience as a medical student is such a privilege and this fellowship has given me the otherwise improbable opportunity to do so. I am thrilled to be a part of an impressive cohort of students, and I look forward to discussing our shared interests in global health and tropical medicine.

What do you anticipate learning?
Thus far in my medical education, I have only conducted research from a distance, without the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the culture and climate of the region that I study. In the Philippines I intend to learn much more about the presence of certain tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis and other helminth infections that could affect the health of an infant, as well as the mothers who raise them. I will also learn from healthcare professionals who work in global health pediatrics and obstetrics and witness international collaboration with the goal of improving health for all populations.

What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
Tropical medicine attracts people who value curiosity, equity and advocacy, all of which are traits I consider essential to my own practice of medicine. This work kindles my passion for global health equity, access to care and my curiosity about language, culture and medicine. Advocating for patients affected by tropical disease in resource poor settings through scholarship is important work that I hope to contribute to throughout my career.