2014 Equity Intern: Metrah Mohammed

Mohammed_Metra_1_150Metrah Mohammed, a junior at Oregon State University (OSU), has her sights focused on medical school. At OSU, she is part of the Critical Care Academic Associates Program (CCAAP) team, highlighting current research on insulin control in critically ill and diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. Metrah is well on her way toward a successful graduate academic career in health sciences.

It wasn't that long ago that Metrah faced insurmountable challenges, as she and her family transitioned to life in the United States. "Growing up as a refugee from Afghanistan, I did not have much time for dreams. We paid most of our attention to surviving, moving from country to country. I did have one ambition, however: to help others. I wanted to help those who were suffering from isolation, injustice, and poverty."

Metrah attended David Douglas High School in east Portland, which serves some of the most ethnically diverse student populations in the state of Oregon. During high school, Metrah took part in the Upward Bound program hosted by the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization. Even though she was a relative newcomer to the United States, Metrah was driven to work hard to excel, maintaining a 4.0 GPA in high school. 

"I believe that I can achieve this dream as a medical doctor and a researcher by helping people to overcome their health challenges, bringing hope into their lives, and enabling them to fulfill their goals. Not only do I want to ease the miseries of people through healing, I also want to change the society through education and health reform. Through research, I want to educate my patients and the next generation of doctors to improve medical practices, processes, and policies for both patients and providers," she says.

Here at OHSU, Metrah is part of the Summer Equity Research Program, a highly competitive internship program that allows promising diverse students hands-on opportunities in a research setting. Metrah is working with Steven Bedrick, Ph.D., in the Center for Spoken Language Understanding. The eight-week internship also affords clinical shadowing opportunities with Mohamud Daya, M.D., M.S.; and Jonathan Jui, M.D., M.P.H., in the Emergency Medicine Department.  Metrah will help in Dr. Bedrick's lab, focusing on medical signal detection automated system that helps to detect early diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorders. The goal of this research is to program an automated system that identifies unexpected words in narrative retellings by children with autism. Automated language analysis program will help to improve the diagnostic of linguistic features associated with autism spectrum disorder. 

Interested in the Summer Equity Internship? Contact David Martinez for more information.

Posted on July 3, 2014. Photo and write-up by Maileen Hamto.