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 February 15, 2018

Mercy Asiedu '14 receives award

An alumna of our department, Mercy Asiedu ’14, now a PhD student in biomedical engineering at Duke University, has been recognized with her advisor for their work on cervical cancer screening.

 They have received the 2018 Drs. Anvar and Pari Velji Emerging Leader in Global Health Innovation Faculty and Trainee Award, from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. The award, which goes to one faculty member and one student or trainee, honors researchers who create innovative projects with a high potential impact on the lives of people in low-income settings.

 Asiedu works in the lab of Nimmi Ramanujam, the Robert W. Carr Professor of Biomedical Engineering, who was honored for creating Pocket Colposcopea, a compact tool to enable healthcare providers to both screen and diagnose cervical cancer without expensive imaging equipment.

 Asiedu, who conducts research centered on using light to detect cancer in low-resource areas, has worked on ways to improve the screening process with the Pocket Colposcopea. She has developed a speculum-free version, and image processing tools that would enable women to perform self-exams without the need for a physician or health provider, affording women the privacy they need.

 "Global health, specifically as it relates to improving women's health in resource-limited settings, is particularly close to my heart,” says Asiedu. “This recognition for doing something I truly enjoy makes me even more determined to pursue my work on developing a low-cost tool for speculum-free, automated cervical cancer screening. I thank my mentor, collaborators and lab mates at the Center for Global Women's Health Technologies for supporting me throughout my journey to impact women's health. "

 The awards will be presented in New York City at the 9th Annual CUGH Conference on March 17, 2018. In addition to the award, Ramanujam and Asiedu will each receive a plaque and $750 in funds to support their continued work in global health.